ZTE exits Congolese joint venture

ZTE is selling its controlling stake in Congo-Chine Telecom, a joint venture in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
The Chinese telecom vendor is selling its 51% stake to France Telecom in a deal worth $10 million (€7.2 million), as it seeks to focus on core operations and prevent conflicts with infrastructure customers, chief Shi Lirong says.
Buying the stake is the latest step in France Telecom’s Conquests 2015 strategy, which aims to double its earnings from emerging markets within the next four years. The DRC market certainly offers strong potential, with some 65 million inhabitants but a mobile penetration rate of just 17%.
ZTE entered the venture in 2000, forming a partnership with the nation's government to deploy a GSM 1800 network.
The sale comes as Vodafone's Vodacom moves to divest its controlling stake in its own mobile joint venture in the nation, Vodacom Congo. But the operator is facing two separate legal challenges to the planned transaction.