Trump Says He's Helping A Chinese Company His Own Government Rebuked

Trump Says He's Helping A Chinese Company His Own Government Rebuked

Trump Says He's Helping A Chinese Company His Own Government Rebuked

ZTE pleaded guilty a year ago to conspiring to violate U.S. sanctions by illegally shipping USA goods and technology to Iran and entered into an agreement with the United States government. ZTE misled the Department of Commerce.

The company has been banned from selling equipment in the USA, but shutting out supply chain partners like Intel, Qualcomm and Google is potentially catastrophic. While a stock exchange filing from the firm revealed it ceased its main operations following the sanction earlier this week, an unnamed official from the manufacturer told CNET that doing so "does not mean we're going away".

Granting a reprieve to ZTE - a firm with over 70,000 employees, over $17 billion in annual revenue and close ties to the government - doesn't fit with the strategy to hurt China, but then Trump's administration is hardly by the book and often times seemingly pragmatic.

The firm suspended operations earlier this month after United States authorities banned American companies from supplying to it.

Trump has insisted that relations between Washington and Beijing have never been better and he has been working closely with Xi in efforts to persuade North Korea to abandon its nuclear program.

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There has been an intense rivalry for supremacy in key technology fields such as artificial intelligence and 5G, the next-generation wireless systems in the works.

ZTE is not among Qualcomm's publicly disclosed largest customers, which include Apple Inc, Samsung Electronics Co Ltd and Chinese smartphone makers Oppo and Vivo.

David Frum, a former speech writer for president George W Bush, added that Trump was sending mixed signals after scrapping the Iran nuclear deal and threatening sanctions on European countries that continue to do business with Tehran. The Defense Department in April ordered military exchanges to cease selling ZTE phones on US bases. "You should care more about our national security than Chinese jobs". ZTE is an Iran sanctions buster on a colossal scale, but China offered more lenient treatment. Huawei is a global leader in networking equipment, and the government has previously blocked it from selling technology to some federal agencies.

During recent trade meetings in Beijing, Chinese officials said they raised their objections to ZTE's punishment with the American delegation, which they said agreed to report them to Trump.

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