Donald Trump says working with Xi Jinping to save telecom giant ZTE

14 May, 2018, 00:26 | Author: Franklin Nunez
  • US Bans American Companies From Selling to China's ZTE

"President Xi of China, and I, are working together to give massive Chinese phone company, ZTE, a way to get back into business, fast".

USA commentators say the tone of the tweet is a dramatic shift for Mr Trump, who has consistently accused China of stealing U.S. jobs.

The firm suspended its main operations after the USA commerce department banned American companies from selling it components for seven years.

The announcement seemed to directly contradict the policy of the Department of Commerce, which in April imposed a seven-year ban on sales of components to ZTE in connection with the company's violation of USA sanctions on Iran. The company said it is working to have the ban modified or reversed.

Trump's reversal will likely have a significant impact on ZTE's US suppliers such as Qualcomm Inc and Intel Corp.

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"As a result of the (US-imposed) Denial Order, the major operating activities of the company have ceased", ZTE said in regulatory filings late on Wednesday.

The U.S. government initially penalized ZTE in 2017, requiring the Chinese telecom giant to pay $1.19 billion to settle charges that it violated U.S. sanctions in selling equipment to Iran and North Korea.

It's not exactly clear how Trump plans to help ZTE or what he's instructed the Commerce Department to do.

At issue is that department's move last month to block the ZTE Corp., a major supplier of telecoms networks and smartphones based in southern China, from importing American components for seven years.

The firm's products depended on American chips and other components and is unable to continue operating without key supplies.

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

Last week, the company said that its earnings have surged, reporting a 39 percent jump in net income for the first quarter.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

ZTE also sells handsets to United States mobile carriers including AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint. ZTE provides services for 100 million users in India, 300 million users in Indonesia, and 29 million users in Italy, the official said.

Lacking critical equipment, ZTE halted operations, stressing in a statement Wednesday that it is "actively communicating with the relevant US government departments in order to facilitate the modification or reversal" of the Commerce Department's order.

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