ZTE Halts Android Phone Sales In China Amid US Row
11 May, 2018, 00:50
The company was already struggling to secure a meaningful foothold in Western markets, but the DoC's ban has effectively quashed any dreams of strong USA sales, at least for the time being. This move comes in the aftermath of a United States ban placed on the company.
ZTE got hit with a fine of nearly $900 million previous year for evading the embargo on telecom equipment exports to Iran, by using US components in devices that it sold there.
Though ZTE's employees are still reporting to work, the company is at a standstill as it seeks to have the export ban modified or repealed. It blamed a decision from the Commerce Department banning US businesses from selling to the Chinese firm, after it pleaded guilty to conspiring to sell technology to Iran in violation of USA sanctions.
During a meeting with seven high-level members of the Trump administration last week in Beijing, Chinese officials reportedly brought up the ZTE crackdown and urged the USA to ease up.
ZTE is appealing the ban.
In response to the crisis, ZTE claims it is taking steps to rectify the internal problems which led up to the ban, and a solution to the problem.
In an exchange filing late on Wednesday, ZTE said that last month's Denial Order has forced the company to cease operations. "The company is making active communications with relevant parties and seeking a solution". And earlier this month, the Pentagon told stores on U.S. navy bases to cease promoting telephones made by Huawei and ZTE, citing safety dangers to the Division of Protection.
Because ZTE makes a lot of the products using components from Qualcomm and Intel, a ban on USA companies supplying them is a huge hit.
The US sanctions were the result of an investigation into alleged sales to North Korea and Iran that violated existing US sanctions against those countries. Sales through US prepaid cellular carriers, such as T-Mobile and Boost Mobile, are also responsible for a major portion of its worldwide business.
"US officials are targeting ZTE primarily out of law enforcement motivations", said Eurasia Group's Paul Triolo.
In a recent earnings call, Acacia executives said the company had to write off $7.1 million in inventory that was slated for ZTE. In the meantime, ZTE will continue to get supply of components from Taiwanese semiconductor company MediaTek. The firm pleaded guilty to the charges in March a year ago and was hit with $1.2 billion in fines. The Chinese government is said to have raised the issue of ZTE last week with a visiting USA trade delegation.
Tom's Guide reached out to both ZTE and its other wireless partners for comment, and will report back as soon as we hear anything.
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