Chinese smartphone maker ZTE has established a “development financing cooperation agreement” with the State-owned China Development Bank, which will see $20 billion invested in the telecoms firm over the next five years.
To put the $US20 billion figure into perspective, it is greater than the market capitalisations of Nokia and Research in Motion combined.
In a joint statement to the Shenzhen stock exchange, ZTE highlights the capital is to be used for overseas expansion.
In the statement, ZTE describes the investment as a “facility for cooperation, comprising financing facilities for the Company’s overseas projects and credit facilities for the Company”.
“The overseas project financing facilities shall be applied towards meeting the funding requirements of overseas customers in the purchase of [ZTE’s] equipment and related technical services.”
“The credit facilities shall be applied in mid-to-long term loans, short-term loans, debenture financing, factored financing, supply chain financing, as well as trade financing such as guarantees, bills and letters of credit.”
Last month, SmartCompany reported the Chinese smartphone manufacturer is gearing up for an assault on western markets, including plans for a flagship eight-core smartphone codenamed “Apache”, which it hopes will compete against Apple’s iPhone 5, Samsung’s Galaxy S3 and Nokia’s Lumia 920.
While ZTE is one of the top five smartphone manufacturers in China, accounting for around 10% of the market, its influence in the west has largely been limited to low-cost carrier-branded phones such as the Telstra 850, Telstra EasyTouch T82 and Telstra T100.