Thursday, 19 April, 2018

U.S. suspends export privileges to Chinese telecom giant ZTE

A Chinese national flag and two flags bearing the name of ZTE fly outside the ZTE R&D building in Shenzhen China A Chinese national flag and two flags bearing the name of ZTE fly outside the ZTE R&D building in Shenzhen China. Image Reuters
Russell Knight | 16 April, 2018, 19:22

Last year, ZTE plead guilty in a federal court for conspiring to illegally ship U.S. goods and tech to Iran, violating USA sanctions.

Shares of U.S. optical components makers fell on Monday after the U.S. Department of Commerce said it was banning companies from selling components to Chinese telecom equipment maker ZTE Corp for seven years. Oclaro Inc, which got 18 percent of its fiscal 2017 revenue from ZTE sales, fell 14 percent. "And in global commerce, truth is pretty important".

ZTE didn't respond to calls seeking comment that were made after business hours in China. The official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the timing of the ZTE action was unfortunate because it could seem related to USA steps to stop alleged theft of intellectual property.

"This will be devastating to the company, given their reliance on USA products and software", said Jacobson.

"This is going to tank their stock", Jacobson added. It has relied on USA companies including Qualcomm Inc QCOM.O , Microsoft Corp MSFT.O and Intel Corp INTC.O for components.

"ZTE misled the Department of Commerce".

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This is a regulatory action and is unrelated to any ongoing trade-related actions.

Secretary of Commerce Wilbur L. Ross, Jr. today announced that the U.S. Department of Commerce's Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) has imposed a denial of export privileges against Zhongxing Telecommunications Equipment Corporation, of Shenzhen, China ("ZTE Corporation") and ZTE Kangxun Telecommunications Ltd. of Hi-New Shenzhen, China ("ZTE Kangxun") (collectively, "ZTE").

"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".

The U.S. government had allowed the company continued access to the U.S. market under the 2017 agreement. Today, though, the United States government has banned U.S. companies from selling to the Chinese company.

The new restrictions stem from a January 16 report by a US monitor appointed by a federal judge in Texas who accepted the guilty plea in March 2017.

China is trying to gain access to sensitive USA technologies and intellectual properties through telecommunications companies, academia and joint business ventures, United States senators and spy chiefs had warned.

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