ZTE, a smartphone manufacturer based in China, was effectively put out of business after the United States Department of Commerce banned it from sourcing components from U.S.-based companies for seven years. Not only did that mean that ZTE couldn’t source processors for its smartphones from Qualcomm, it may have lost its Android license as well. For a company that makes Android smartphones powered by Qualcomm’s chips, that’s a fatal blow. However, President Donald Trump has said that he’s now working with President Xi of China to get ZTE “back into business.”
ZTE was slapped with the ban because the Department of Commerce found that it had violated the terms of a settlement in a sanctions violation case that the smartphone maker had lost two years ago.
ZTE confirmed earlier this week that its main business operations have ceased but did mention that it’s working to get the ban modified or reversed. Chinese officials have recently reached out to their counterparts in the United States for a relaxation in the ban.
President Trump tweeted today that he’s working with President Xi to give ZTE a way to get back into business. “Commerce Department has been instructed to get it done!,” he added. Neither ZTE nor the Commercial Department has commented on this latest development.
President Xi of China, and I, are working together to give massive Chinese phone company, ZTE, a way to get back into business, fast. Too many jobs in China lost. Commerce Department has been instructed to get it done!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 13, 2018