On a rainy day in Shanghai, Executive MBA class 46 visited the company of one of their classmates. Brad Li (EMBA-46 Kansas City), gave the class a rare tour of the ZTE R&D Center in the Pudong high-tech district. ZTE is among the top six smartphone manufacturers in the world. In the U.S., ZTE is number four in smartphone sales. We were greeted by ZTE staff and by a digital marquee in the front lobby welcoming Washington University in St. Louis.
Brad arranged for a three-stage campus visit. We first entered a large display room featuring a broad array of mobile devices, telecommunications systems, and enterprise solutions. ZTE’s Virtual Reality goggles, using the Axon series phone, were a big hit.
Next we toured the Design Center, where ZTE designers were working with different colors, textures, metals, and plastics, to create award-winning designs. Then the EMBAs suited up in lab coats to tour the testing labs, where engineers fine-tuned signal strength, audio sensitivity, and camera resolution.
The class was then ushered into the board room to sit down with several ZTE executives. Since it began manufacturing mobile devices in 1998, ZTE has produced over 700 million, and they currently have 72 million active users. ZTE is a Chinese company that is growing rapidly as it expands outside the borders of China. They currently are working with the top 50 carriers across the globe.
Not far from the ZTE campus, and after dodging a few rain drops, EMBA-46 chose from a selection of restaurants in Plaza 96 to grab some lunch. By mid afternoon, we made it up to Morton’s Steak House in the Pudong financial district for the residency’s Business Panel Discussion. Executives from Emerson, Honeywell, Hertz, and Vortorantim Group, discussed their impressions of China’s economy and life as an expat.
Guest blogger: Cory Barron, Student Services Manager, EMBA team