Tuesday, 17 July, 2018

ZTE's U.S. ban set to be lifted

Denis O’Brien-owned Digicel said much of its ZTE-related infrastructure roll-out was already complete Denis O’Brien-owned Digicel said much of its ZTE-related infrastructure roll-out was already complete
| 14 May, 2018, 06:04

US President Donald Trump may reconsider trade sanctions on China's major telecom-equipment maker ZTE.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpUS paid Trump's Scottish resort for VIP hotel stays: report Michael Avenatti tweets, then deletes, Fox News booker's phone number Former Trump aide working with Russian company to lift USA sanctions: report MORE on Sunday said the United States and China have a positive trade relationship despite previous unfair trade deals, adding that any issues "will all work out".

The company said it was halting all of its major business activities in the United States last week after the country's Department of Commerce issued a so-called denial order, prohibiting American exporters from doing business with it, but appeared to have been thrown a lifeline by Mr Trump yesterday.

US officials are preparing for talks in Washington with China's top trade official Liu He to resolve an escalating trade dispute.

The US crackdown on ZTE has been interpreted by some as part of a broader push by the United States to stifle China's tech ambition.

Those actions led to a US$1.2 billion fine past year, with the current export ban imposed in April after ZTE allegedly failed to live up to its agreement, lying about the punishment of employees involved in the sanctions skirting.

Beijing has closely followed the developments around ZTE, a company with 80,000 employees headquartered in southern China.

"But be cool, it will all work out!", he said.

"If evidence now exists to implicate ZTE, we believe it is appropriate for Commerce to take immediate action", the lawmakers wrote in the letter, which was addressed to secretaries of President Barack Obama's Treasury, Commerce and State departments.

American technology companies are estimated to provide 25-30 percent of the components used in ZTE's equipment, which includes smartphones and gear to build telecommunications networks for telecom operators globally.


ZTE was not banned from selling its products in the US, where it is the fourth most popular smartphone brand, but would nonetheless have needed to immediately transform its supply chain to be able to continue to manufacture devices without USA -made parts.

As a presidential candidate, Donald Trump said in 2015: "China, taking our jobs, taking our money".

FBI Director Chris Wray explained why it is an issue for companies and local governments to use Huawei or ZTE products and services.

ZTE's current struggles have made it the most visible effect thus far of a brewing trade war between the United States and China.

The ban came two months after two Republican senators introduced legislation to block the U.S. government from buying or leasing telecommunications equipment from ZTE or Huawei, citing concern the companies would use their access to spy on United States officials.

Other experts said Trump's policy reversal was unprecedented.

"Our intelligence agencies have warned that ZTE technology and phones pose a major cyber security threat", said Adam Schiff, who is the senior opposition Democratic Congressman on the House Intelligence Committee.

More: Spy games: Is buying a Chinese smartphone risky?

Shares of ZTE suppliers including Acacia, Oclaro, Lumentum Holdings Inc, Finisar Corp, Inphi Corp and Fabrinet fell sharply after the ban was announced.

ZTE confirmed last week that it has essentially shut down in the wake of the ban, pausing production lines and suspending business travel as it seeks legal remedies to get the trade ban overturned.

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