at tsinghua unigroup, we put our customers first by providing innovative technology that is accessible and affordable. our business, from “chip to cloud”, is focused on the intelligent design and manufacture of it components and infrastructure used by businesses and consumers every day. we are connecting people and improving lives with our great products and services.
tsinghua unigroup is a leading digital infrastructure and services enterprise with a focus on electronic components and equipment manufacturing. at the end of 2018, we were a team of nearly 40,000 globally. our consolidated total assets amounted to approximately rmb 270 billion. we are the third largest designer of commercially available mobile phone chips in the world, and we account for 20 percent of the global sim card market. we also are one of the leading providers of cloud services in china.
we are helping to enable the digital transformation of industry and society. our products support customers in utilizing next-generation technologies, including 5g, iot and ai. while our cloud technologies are accelerating the transformation of how services are delivered in education, finance, medical care, energy and government.
our strategy is powered by innovation and strengthened by collaboration. tsinghua unigroup was established in 1988 as a business venture of china’s prestigious tsinghua university. in 2009, along with other private shareholders, i invested into tsinghua unigroup. today, we are one of the country’s most successful high tech enterprises.
our group operates through several core subsidiaries, including unisplendour corporation limited and unigroup guoxin microelectronics co, which are both public companies listed on chinese stock exchanges. more recently, we broadened our capabilities with the additions of spreadtrum communications and rda microelectronics, the chip design and development companies, and h3c, the digital infrastructure and it management group. in 2018, the france-based linxens joined the unigroup family bringing world-class specialism in the design and manufacture of micro-connectors for smartcards, rfid antennas and inlays.
we are integrating our expertise with international operations to become a trusted partner of such world-class technology companies as intel, hewlett packard enterprise and western digital. we also have invested in 60 r&d centers around the world, with locations in china, the united states, france, germany, singapore, india and thailand. we are proud of our accomplishments on our journey to becoming a world-class high-tech company.
innovation is the driving force behind our development. we firmly believe our business grows alongside the intellectual property we create. our innovation portfolio includes china’s first 3d nand chip, ground-breaking xtackingtm technology, and wafer-level 3d integration technology. many of our processes and products have earned industry recognition and we now hold nearly 30,000 patents, more than 90 percent of which are invention patents, making us one of china’s great innovative enterprises.
at tsinghua unigroup, we also believe in doing what is right, not what is easy. that means we’re doing more than investing in our technology and our employees. we are building a vigorous corporate structure focused on our long-term development. our compliance efforts ensure adherence to laws and regulations in all countries where we operate.
our people are the key source of our success. we recognize our value is created by the performance of our employees. our robust working environment promotes the spirit of entrepreneurship and experimentation while encouraging collaboration among our staff, academics, scientists and technologists. at tsinghua unigroup, merit is recognized and rewarded regardless of size.
tsinghua unigroup embraces the principles of learning from the experienced, acting with integrity, and walking alongside giants. in business, our people must have strong beliefs and open minds. we must be willing to make bold assumptions, yet also carefully validate our outcomes. we must operate thoughtfully and act quickly.
our development has not been without its challenges and we often face situations that force us to grapple with tough issues. looking to the future, however, i’m confident that tsinghua unigroup will continue to be a trusted partner for our customers, supporting their businesses with our worldwide network of talent, and r&d.
from chip to cloud, we will continue to innovate to realize our dreams.
zhao weiguo, chairman and ceo of tsinghua unigroup