Trump scrambles to save Chinese phone company hurt by his export ban

Shanghai ZTE Corporation R&D Center

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Sunday that he and Chinese President Xi Jinping are working to give Chinese telecom company ZTE Corp "a way to get back into business, fast".

The biggest blow to ZTE came last month, however, when the U.S. Department of Commerce, citing the company's failure to fulfill its plea deal and discipline the employees who sold components to Iran and North Korea, banned the sale of U.S. -made parts to the company for a period of seven years.

Mr Trump tweeted he was dealing with President Xi to make certain ZTE would become in business rapid, mentioning way too many projects at China ended up at an increased risk. Commerce office has been educated to get it all done!

A United States blockade has choked off the revenue of the No. 2 Chinese telecom company, which regards the next two weeks as crucial as it faces potential collapse. "China may now have strengthened its desire to get out from a under a scenario where the United States can do that again".

The US administration has barred military and government employees from using smartphones from ZTE and fellow Chinese maker Huawei.

Experts said Trump's policy reversal was unprecedented.

At the time, in an official statement the Chinese government said it lodged "solemn representations" with the United States over the ban.

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One of the companies affected by that decision is Denis O'Brien's telecoms group Digicel, which previous year hired the Chinese group to upgrade its networks. The firm said 10 May it's suspended all major operations.

The Trump administration has used the premise of national security to block a number of business deals that would see Chinese companies buying up American firms - including Alibaba's proposed acquisition of MoneyGram and Broadcom's effort to buy Qualcomm.

"Our intelligence agencies have warned that ZTE technology and phones pose a major cyber security threat", said Adam Schiff, who is the senior opposition Democratic Congressman on the House Intelligence Committee.

Trump has repeatedly blasted China for what he calls unfair trade practices.

Tensions with China remain high, as both Washington and Beijing have threatened to impose tens of billions of dollars' worth of sanctions on each other's exports, which could have a profound effect on many USA industries, especially agriculture.

But Mr Trump said he was optimistic about the future of the countries' trade relations.

He returned to the topic more than five hours later by blasting past trade agreements between the two countries.

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