ZTE Set To Get A Lifeline As US Does A U Turn
US President Donald Trump appears to have given Chinese Company ZTE, who last week saw their products dropped by Telstra, a lifeline after he suddenly over the weekend and after, a discussion with Chinese President Xi of decided to intervene in his commerce departments decision to ban the Chinese telco who has been exposed for paying bribes.
Trump ordered the US commerce department to assist ZTE following a personal request from China’s president.
The U-turn was initiated despite a commerce department decision in April banning the manufacturer from sourcing vital components from US companies because of findings it had illegally sold equipment to Iran and North Korea.
Last week ZTE said that they were winding down several of their business divisions as they were not in a position to get components from US Companies along with official copies of the Google Android OS.
The reversal marks an unusual intervention by the US president in what the administration had previously portrayed as a legal and procedural rather than political case.
“I am speechless,” said Kevin Wolf, who oversaw the launch of the ZTE case as assistant secretary of commerce in the Obama administration.
“I’m highly confident that a [US] president has never intervened in a law-enforcement matter like this before… It’s so outside the way the rules were set up.”
It also marks the second time in the last month the Trump administration has moved to roll back sanctions against a foreign company that had nearly been pushed into insolvency, raising questions over how thoroughly the White House is co-ordinating sanctions policy with federal agencies.
As previously reported, ZTE is currently pitching to roll out Telstra’s 5G network.