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U.S. bans American companies from selling to Chinese phone maker ZTE

U.S. bans American companies from selling to Chinese phone maker ZTE”

Mr Obama and the United States commerce department banned companies from doing business with ZTE for seven years, for allegedly violating a 2017 settlement over allegations it has sold equipment to Iran and North Korea.

ZTE agreed in March of past year to plead guilty and pay as much as $1.2 billion for violating us laws restricting sale of American technology to Iran.

ZTE, headquartered in the southern city of Shenzhen, pleaded guilty in March 2017 and agreed to pay a $1.19 billion penalty for shipping the telecoms equipment to North Korea and Iran in violation of us regulations. The company could also face an additional $300 million penalty.

In conclusion, the measures taken by the USA government against the Chinese manufacturer will also reflect on the latter's smartphones production and their quality, subsequently, since now ZTE can't buy Qualcomm chipsets anymore, while, until now, up to 30% of the components used by ZTE were made by U.S. companies.

In addition to the monetary penalties, ZTE agreed to perform audits and to make truthful disclosures to federal investigators for the seven year probationary period.

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ZTE said in a brief statement Tuesday that it is aware of the U.S. ban.

"ZTE made false statements to the US government when they were originally caught and put on the Entity List, made false statements during the reprieve it was given, and made false statements again during its probation", said US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. Among these commitments was to discipline senior employees involved in the transactions.

Later admissions indicate that the reported actions never took place and that all of the employees, except for one, earned their bonuses.

"ZTE misled the Department of Commerce".

The U.S. action against ZTE is likely to further exacerbate current tensions between Washington and Beijing over trade.

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Warning that protecting a network from a malicious equipment depends on using other vendors that are not as risky, the NCSC said the risk of both Huawei and ZTE was too much.

The sales ban came on the same day that it was revealed that the UK's National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has warned telecoms companies and other network operators of its "security concerns" with networking hardware made by Chinese vendor ZTE.

The equipment ZTE sells to carriers is the subject of a proposed action by the FCC to deny funding from the Universal Service Fund to US carriers that use ZTE equipment as well as equipment from Huawei. Jefferies cut its recommendation on ZTE's stock to underperform and slashed its share price target by more than half to reflect its expectation that profit this year will slump by 51 per cent. The move, which also dragged down some United States technology shares, reactivates a block on ZTE's exports and all sales to the company by U.S. suppliers for seven years.

The ban comes two months after a motion in US Senate to block the government from buying or leasing telecommunications equipment from ZTE or its Chinese rival Huawei over accusations that the companies might be spying on American officials.

The bigger picture is of course the growing tensions between the west and China over technological advancement and alleged spying concerns, which is making it hard for Chinese manufacturers such as ZTE and Huawei to sell their goods to U.S. carriers.

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Douglas Jacobson, an exports control lawyer who represents suppliers to ZTE, called the ban highly unusual and said it would severely affect the company.



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