ZTE slams United States ban on sales as unfair, vows to safeguard interests

Visitors pass in front of the ZTE booth at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona

Visitors are seen at a booth of Chinese telecom equipment maker ZTE Corp at an expo in Beijing, China, September 27, 2017.

On Friday, ZTE Corporation said that the ban implemented by USA authorities on sale of software and equipment was unfair and the survival of the company will be under question if this ban is not lifted.

The ban from the US Commerce Department's Bureau of Industry comes after ZTE pleaded guilty in March 2017 to illegally shipping US equipment to Iran and North Korea.

China's No.2 telecoms equipment maker admitted in March 2017 to illegally shipping US technologies to banned countries including Iran and paid a record $890 million fine to settle the case.

Chinese tech company ZTE is prepared to face off against the USA government in court if it needs to.

WASHINGTON-Chinese telecommunications firm ZTE Corp. will get a chance to give additional evidence to US authorities who imposed stiff sanctions on the company this week. However, the U.S. organization said ZTE had subsequently paid full bonuses to the employees responsible for this illegal conduct, and that it lied about the practices to USA authorities.

Its efforts included organizing compliance training for over 65,000 employees, as well as comprehensively cooperating with the USA side and providing over 132,000 pages of documents. The company reportedly invested almost $50 million in export control compliance initiatives previous year.

The Treasury may bring forward parts of a bill to modernize security reviews by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States and use the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, Tarbert said a special Treasury office devoted to the China restrictions was considering such avenues.

The company said it continue to pursue a solution through communication, but will also seek to protect its "legitimate rights and interests through all legal means" to protect its employees, shareholders and fulfil obligations to global customers, partners and suppliers.

ZTE was due to report its first-quarter financials on Thursday but has delayed that announcement: Trading in ZTE's shares on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange has been suspended. "The action targets China, however, it will ultimately undermine the United States itself", said MOC spokesperson Gao Feng.

Many believe there's a chance - just a chance - that ZTE could negotiate a lighter penalty.

Domestic producers have yet to master some core technology and the production of key components, Ye Tianchun, head of the Chinese Academy of Sciences institute of microelectronics, said.

Progress has been made in closing the technological gap and chip makers attracted by the huge market potential are increasing their presence in China.

But, U.S. companies could be collateral damage.

"Relying on oneself is better than relying on others", state media Xinhua quoted Yin as saying.

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