U.S. hits major Chinese tech firm with export ban

17 April, 2018, 20:21 | Author: Shannon Newton
  • Visitors pass in front of the ZTE Corp. booth at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona Spain

The ban follows an investigation and follow-up guilty-plea in March 2017 that ended with a civil and criminal penalty imposed on ZTE for illegally shipping telecommunications equipment to Iran and North Korea. Instead of reprimanding the employees, the company is stated to have rewarded them with full bonuses.

ZTE's settlement with the USA followed a multiyear investigation into claims that it violated US sanctions against Iran and North Korea by selling electronics to those countries. For more on this, read the full Reuters report here.

Washington has also deepened its scrutiny of Chinese investment in the US, with the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), blocking many proposed acquisitions of USA assets by Chinese companies. It was fined $890 million and agreed to dismiss four members of senior staff, and to discipline 35 more.

The U.S. Federal Communication Commission on Tuesday plans to consider a ban on the networking equipment from the companies of ZTE and Huawei. -China tensions over trade between the world's two biggest economies.

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"ZTE made false statements to the U.S. 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", Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said in a statement provided to TechCrunch.

The letter said the United Kingdom telecoms network already contains a "significant amount" of equipment supplied by Huawei, meaning further equipment and services from another Chinese supplier would "render our existing mitigations ineffective".

The sales ban came on the same day that it was revealed that the UK's National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has warned telecoms companies and other network operators of its "security concerns" with networking hardware made by Chinese vendor ZTE.

Intel, Microsoft, Qualcomm and Micron Technology are also among USA suppliers to ZTE, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

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The NCSC said it would be "impossible" to manage risks to the telecommunications sector if ZTE equipment was deployed at scale and that using ZTE equipment and services would have a "long term negative effect" on the security of the UK.

He first threatened to name China as a "currency manipulator" during his first days of office but reversed his position after his first three months in office and took no action. Oclaro Inc, which got 18 percent of its fiscal 2017 revenue from ZTE, lost 14 percent.

Other optical component companies also slid, with Lumentum Holdings Inc falling 8.9 percent and Finisar Corp dropping 4 percent. In January, Texas Congressman Mike Conaway proposed legislation that would prevent USA authorities from buying any product or service from the Chinese companies. ZTE already sells both its branded and white-label smartphones via mobile carriers AT&T and Verizon in the US.

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