Sunday, 21 October, 2018

ZTE suspends trading after being blacklisted by the United Kingdom and US

Visitors pass in front of the ZTE Corp. booth at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona Spain Visitors pass in front of the ZTE Corp. booth at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona Spain
Olivia Ford | 17 April, 2018, 20:22

The U.S. Department of Commerce has banned American companies from selling components to ZTE for seven years after breaking an agreement reached after it was caught illegally shipping goods to Iran.

"In March 2017, ZTE agreed to a combined civil and criminal penalty and forfeiture of $1.19 billion after illegally shipping telecommunications equipment to Iran and North Korea, making false statements, and obstructing justice including through preventing disclosure to and affirmatively misleading the United States government", claimed the Department of Commerce in a statement.

As far back as October 2012, a US Congress committee report warned that Huawei and ZTE posed a threat to national security.

In March, ZTE admitted that while it had fired four senior employees, it had not disciplined or reduced bonuses to 35 others.

A spokesperson for BT told the Financial Times: "BT takes the security of the UK's critical national infrastructure very seriously and has a robust testing regime in place to ensure that the equipment from all suppliers used in our network remains secure".

Having suffered a loss of 767.8 million Chinese yuan ($122 million) in 2016, ZTE bounced back with a net profit of more than RMB6.7 billion ($1.1 billion) past year, with sales up 7.5%, to RMB108.8 billion ($17.3 billion).

As U.S. concerns about safeguarding its chip technology and cutting its trade deficit grow, the tech sector has become a flashpoint in the broader battle about trade and economic policy, with U.S. President Donald Trump accusing Chinese firms of intellectual property theft for years.

The commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said, "Instead of reprimanding ZTE staff and senior management, ZTE rewarded them".

Yesterday, the Chinese firm was also blacklisted by the UK's National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC).

"The U.K. telecommunications network already contains a significant amount of equipment supplied by Huawei, also a Chinese equipment manufacturer", NCSC said in a statement. President, Donald Trump, accused China along with Russian Federation on the issue of devaluation of the currency.

The action of the ban imposed by the US on the ZTE corp. means that one of the world's top manufacturers of smart phones and communication gear will not be able to buy technology from American Supplies.

Shares in optical networking equipment maker Acacia Communications Inc, which gained just under a third of its total 2017 revenue from ZTE, tumbled 35 percent.

For ZTE itself, the latest USA action means one of the world's top makers of smartphones and communications gear will no longer be able to buy technology from American suppliers, including components central to its products. ZTE may have to either buy from a competitor or get chips from a Taiwanese company whose products generally lag those of its USA rival's in performance.

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