'Be Cool!': Trump Offers Words Of Wisdom On Trade Talks With China

14 May, 2018, 00:29 | Author: Barbara Daniel
  • President Trump just saved embattled Chinese phone maker ZTE

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

ZTE has asked the department to suspend the seven-year ban on doing business with United States technology exporters. In this case, ZTE's infringements are so major - trade violations and national security concerns - that it is hard to envisage the company getting a pass, even with support from the White House.

The extent of the impact of the Commerce Department ban on USA suppliers was noted by the ZTE official, who was not authorised to speak publicly, as Chinese and U.S. government officials discuss a Washington visit next week by China's top economic official.

Trump earlier in the day said he's working with Chinese President Xi Jingping to get Chinese company ZTE "a way to get back into business, fast".

Adding to tensions, the company was slapped with a $1.2 billion fine past year after the U.S government discovered it was doing business with North Korea and Iran.

The Commerce Department in April cut off the massive Chinese telecom equipment maker from its US suppliers after determining that the company flouted a 2017 agreement resolving allegations it illegally shipped telecommunications equipment to Iran and North Korea.

The US ban prevents ZTE from using some Qualcomm processors and Android devices with Google Mobile Services software, according to analysts.

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.

The Commerce Department ban on US suppliers exporting goods to the Chinese network equipment and handset maker was discussed when a delegation led by US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin met with Chinese officials in Beijing last week.

The ban has also impacted telcos at a resale level. A ZTE spokesman also did not respond to an email seeking comment.

In April, he said: "For many years, no president wanted to go against China economically, and we're going to do it".

Experts said Trump's policy reversal was unprecedented.

"There's no legal mechanism for this".

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

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