ZTE is hiring talent from struggling smartphone makers in the West

China has a very competitive smartphone market. Apart from popular manufacturers like Samsung and Apple, the market is catered to by dozens of local manufacturers who rarely ship their devices outside of the People’s Republic. ZTE is one such company but it has its sights set on expansion. To push that cause forward it is reportedly “aggressively poaching” talent from struggling smartphone manufacturers in the West, BlackBerry and Motorola Mobility to be precise. The Canada-based BlackBerry has already laid off thousands of employees over the past couple of years as it struggles for relevance in the increasingly competitive global smartphone market.

ZTE Corp. is aggressively poaching talent from struggling Western smartphone makers such as BlackBerry Ltd. and Motorola Mobility, as the Chinese company tries to expand its handset business overseas, its executive said. Amid uncertainties surrounding the prospects for BlackBerry and Motorola Mobility—the cellphone maker that Google Inc. is in the process of selling to China’sLenovo Group Ltd.—over the past year, ZTE has found rare opportunities to cherry-pick talent from those established global competitors. Inside ZTE’s human resources department, a special team is tasked with recruiting talent from BlackBerry. While the team has so far recruited fewer than 20 people, it plans to hire more, a person familiar with the situation said. Most of the new hires from BlackBerry, which include senior engineers, are currently based in Canada, but they may later move to the U.S. or China to play greater roles for ZTE, the person added.

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