U.S. will help China's ZTE 'get back into business'

US authorities have banned firms from selling parts to China's ZTE for seven yearsMore

US authorities have banned firms from selling parts to China's ZTE for seven yearsMore

President Trump today, out of the blue, tweeted that he and the President of China are working to help out the Chinese phone company ZTE.

Last week ZTE announced that its major operations had "ceased" after the Trump administration banned American entities from selling critical technology to the company for seven years.

Chinese smartphone maker is working on its own proprietary mobile operating system (OS) since 2012 after a USA investigation into the company, the media reported.

"Too many jobs in China lost".

Others, meanwhile, indicated they continued to evaluate the impact of the ban and subsequent shutdown, including AT&T, the top distributor of ZTE phones in the USA, and South African telecom giant MTN.

But in light of the ongoing trade war between the USA and China, the Trump administration may not back down so easily, which would threaten ZTE's ongoing existence. The US Commerce Department did not immediately respond to multiple requests for comment Sunday.

The trade troubles threaten a technology sector that is increasingly intertwined with major players in the United States and China. ZTE added that the company continues to communicate with the USA government with the goal of modifying or reversing the order.

Legislation barring the sale of national security-sensitive technology to China has been introduced to the United States Senate by Republican Marco Rubio, in another effort to crack down on the supposed theft of USA intellectual property.

United States officials imposed the seven-year ban last month after ZTE allegedly made false statements regarding its settlement of a case involving the illegal sale of goods to Iran and North Korea. The company warned in April, when the ban was first implemented, that it would "severely impact the survival and development" of ZTE. The company said it is working to have the ban modified or reversed.

FBI Director Chris Wray explained why it is an issue for companies and local governments to use Huawei or ZTE products and services.

Similar concerns exist in Australia about Chinese equipment makers, although Fairfax reported today that ZTE is on the shortlist for two Australian telecommunications projects, including Telstra's 5G network and Perth's metropolitan rail comms system.

Along with the simmering trade fight between Trump and China, the ZTE decision represents an example of the global consequences of the fraying ties.

But there have been tensions on other issues with both countries threatening each other with trade tariffs.

On Sunday, Trump appeared to ease the rhetoric, saying the countries "are working well together on trade".

"China and the US cooperate in the field of trade, but the talks of past administrations for many years has been one-sided in favor of China".

For critics worrying about a trade war between Washington and Beijing, the president added a bit of advice - "But be cool, it will all work out!"

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