Days after ZTE ceased its main business operations due to the ban placed upon it by the U.S. Department of Commerce, it now looks like things may turn around for ZTE.
President Donald Trump today tweeted that he’s working with Chinese President Xi Jinping to “give massive Chinese phone company, ZTE, a way to get back into business, fast.” Trump added that he’s instructed the U.S. Department of Commerce to “get it done”.
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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 13, 2018
It’s surprising to see President Trump vow to aid ZTE after other agencies in the U.S. government have voiced concerns about security with regard to ZTE, including the Pentagon’s decision to stop selling ZTE devices at its stores on military bases. It remains to be seen what Trump plans to do to help ZTE, but this is big news for the company who said that the U.S. ban would “severely impact” its survival.
One month ago, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced that it was banning U.S. companies from selling components to ZTE because the company didn’t do everything that it was supposed as part of its settlement after it illegally shipped U.S. technology to Iran. ZTE was instructed to pay $890 million in fines, dismiess four senior employees, and discipline 35 other workers by reducing their bonuses. ZTE later admitted that it had not disciplined or reduced the bonuses of those 35 employees.