ZTE drafts in Professor Green for UK push

Chinese mobile company ZTE, the world’s fourth biggest handset maker by volume, is to launch a major UK push as it looks to grab a share of the fiercely competitive handset market.

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The company, which has switched from making white label phones by launching several own-branded Android smartphones this year, is targeting the UK youth market by becoming the headline sponsor of rapper Professor Green’s UK tour.

Wu Sa, director of mobile device operations for ZTE in the UK, says the rapper’s “vibrant and energetic” style matches its own brand values.

He adds: “Ultimately, though, the relationship is symbiotic. ZTE is supporting an artist with one of the most anticipated albums and tours of the year, whilst Professor Green is attaching kudos and relevance to ZTE as we drive our brand to a social networking driven youth market looking for choice in the handset market.”

ZTE, which has a 40% market share in China, surpassed Apple to become the world’s fourth biggest handset company by sales volume in the third quarter, according to Strategy Analytics. The company increased handset shipments by 57.9% in the three months to 30 September to take a 4.9% global market share.

ZTE’s push follows the unveiling of Nokia’s youth-focussed strategy earlier this week. The Finnish company – still the world’s biggest handset marker, according to Strategy Analytics – will release the Lumia 800 and 710 Windows smartphones later this year backed by a global campaign.

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