China’s ZTE names Yin Yimin as new chairman at telecoms gear supplier
ZTE Corp, China’s largest listed telecommunications equipment supplier, has appointed a new chairman, just days after it agreed to pay a record fine to the United States government for violating long-standing trade sanctions on Iran and North Korea.
Shenzhen-based ZTE named veteran company executive Yin Yimin as its new chairman to replace Zhao Xianming, who resigned on Tuesday to focus on day-to-day operations in his other role as president.
In its regulatory filing after the market closed, the company said that Zhao gave up his chairman’s title “to enhance corporate governance” by separating that position from the chief executive’s role.
It pointed out that Zhao “has no disagreement with the [ZTE] board and there is no other matter required to be brought to the attention of the shareholders”.
“Provided that it does not make any further mistakes, ZTE is now in a position where it can once again look to the US market for expansion,” Paul Haswell, a partner at international law firm Pinsent Masons, told the South China Morning Post.
Zhao was appointed as ZTE’s chairman and president in April last year as part of a sweeping senior management revamp, after the company was slapped with export restrictions by the US government.
He led ZTE in negotiations with Washington that resulted in a plea deal last week and payment of penalties totalling US$1.2 billion, which is a record fine for a US export control case.
The new chairman, Yin, previously served as president at ZTE for two three-year terms, from 2004 to 2010. He was the president when the company was listed in Hong Kong in December 2004.
An incumbent executive director at ZTE before his new appointment, Yin will serve as chairman until March 29, 2019, according to the company.
Born in 1963, Yin graduated from the Nanjing Institute of Posts and Telecommunications – now known as Nanjing University of Posts and Telecommunications – in 1988 with a master’s degree in engineering, majoring in telecommunications and electronic systems.
In 1991 he worked as a manager in the research and development department of Shenzhen Zhongxing Semiconductor.
That company changed its name to Zhongxing New Telecommunications Equipment in 1993, and eventually evolved into ZTE when it was first listed in Shenzhen in 1997 and then Hong Kong in 2004.