ZTE, a company based in China, designs, develops and manufactures its own cellphones. The company operates 18 research and development centers around the world, which have allowed it to become a leading holder of telecommunications patents. It also operates factories in China and other international locations.
Unlike other cell phone manufacturers that outsource their manufacturing operations to companies in regions with lower labor costs, ZTE is directly involved in the production of its own products. Its main factory in China is built into the same skyscraper that houses its corporate headquarters.
Similar to other cellphone manufacturers, however, ZTE borrows technologies from other companies. Notably, its mobile phones use processors and chips under license from Qualcomm. In that respect, ZTE does not produce the entire cellphone, but this practice is the norm, rather than the exception, in many industries.