ZTE says USA ban could affect the survival of the company

ZTE Says 7 Year US Ban Threatens Its'Existence

The chairman of Chinese telecom-equipment maker ZTE says the firm will take all legal measures to counter a USA ban on the sale of parts to the company.

The company also states that the ban will not only "severely impact [their] survival and development" but that the ban will also "cause damages to all partners of ZTE including (sic) a large number of US companies". The company says that it has taken steps since 2016 to improve its Export Control Compliance program, and states that BIS is wrong to impose the harshest penalty against ZTE before an investigation is completed.

The Shenzhen-based communications-equipment maker vowed to protect its rights by legal means without specifying what actions it may take, according to a statement posted on the company's website.

The penalty "not only threatens ZTE's existence but also harms the interests of ZTE's business partner, including a large number of USA companies", it said.

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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.

ZTE's best chance would be if USA companies choose to lobby the Trump administration to lift the ban to save their business with ZTE, said Adams Lee, an global trade attorney at Harris Bricken.

That sentiment comes from a press release issued today in respond to the Department of Commerce's Denial Order against the telecoms firm after it accused the company of not following through with the terms of last year's settlement for trade sanction violations in 2012 - doing business with companies in Iran and North Korea.

ZTE statement insists that the company prioritizes compliance as the cornerstone of its strategy, citing an investment of $50 million in export control compliance projects in 2017 and plans to invest more this year.

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It seems that the Commerce Department does have an appeals process for companies to try to get off the list, but it is unclear whether ZTE can use this as its case had been previously subject to a settlement, people familiar with the matter told Reuters.

The U.S. took direct aim at ZTE for breaking a plea bargain. Both the countries have threatened to put trade tariffs of billions of dollars on each other.

ZTE, however, claims in a statement that it is boosting export compliance and needs more time to investigate. "It's better to rely on oneself than to seek help from others", he said.

ZTE Corp has vowed to take all available legal means to challenge the seven-year import ban imposed by the United States government, criticising the decision as "extremely unfair". As of Monday's close, they were worth some $19 billion.

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