Trump pledges to get ZTE back in business

President Donald Trump has waded into a row over Chinese telecoms equipment maker ZTE, promising to get the firm “back into business fast” after it was hit by a ban on buying American hardware and software.
The company said it was halting all of its major business activities in the US last week after the country’s Department of Commerce issued a so-called denial order, prohibiting American exporters from doing business with it, but appeared to have been thrown a lifeline by Mr Trump ­yesterday.
The US president said on Twitter: “President Xi of China and I are working together to give massive Chinese phone company ZTE a way to get back into business fast.
“Too many jobs in China lost. Commerce department has been instructed to get it done.”
The order followed $1.2bn (?900m) of fines against the company last year after it was found to have breached trade embargoes against Iran and North Korea by buying components from US firms, packaging them together into its equipment and selling them on to the ostracised countries.
ZTE was also handed a seven-year suspended denial of export privileges, which the commerce department decided to activate last month after determining the company had lied about its handling of the matter.
Commerce secretary Wilbur Ross said at the time: “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 company vowed to fight the move, which it labelled “unfair” and “unacceptable”. 
Trump pledges to get ZTE back in business

ZTE makes smartphones and other telecommunications equipment
ZTE has also been criticised by United Kingdom officials, who warned telecoms companies last month that its products could pose a national security risk.
Mr Trump’s tweet is an olive branch to president Xi at a time of escalating trade tensions between the US and China.
The US president had made what he said were China’s “unfair” trade practices a key part of his election campaign and the two countries have in recent months been slapping tariffs on goods including steel, televisions and soya beans.
ZTE spent $2.3bn on products and services from US companies in 2017, according to a company source quoted by Reuters on Friday.
The company was also targeted by UK authorities last month over fears that its Chinese government links could mean its equipment is used for spying or cyber attacks. Dr Ian Levy of the National Cyber Security Centre at GCHQ said that the “national security risks arising from the use of ZTE equipment or services within the context of the existing UK telecommunications infrastructure cannot be mitigated”.
ZTE broke into the UK consumer market in 2005 via a handset supply deal with the Hong Kong-owned mobile operator Three.
Its network equipment is much less common in the UK than that of its bigger Chinese rival Huawei, which is also banned from the US but agreed to stringent checks in the UK to maintain its deals with BT and Britain’s mobile operators.
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