Last week, Chinese telecommunications company ZTE made an announcement that shook the mobile industry: the company was forced to shut down after the US Commerce Department issued a ban against it.
This week, none other than US President Donald Trump stepped in to prevent that from happening.
On Twitter, Trump announced he had instructed his Commerce Department to help get ZTE back in business.
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
After the company was accused of violating US sanction laws by selling US-made technology in Iran, the US Commerce Department banned ZTE from using any US made components, including but not limited to Qualcomm chipsets and Android software. Because of this, Trump’s intervention is excellent news for ZTE.
However, other Republicans are still holding the line, insisting on more restrictions for Chinese companies.
Problem with ZTE isn’t jobs & trade, it’s national security & espionage. Any telecomm firm in #China can be forced to act as tool of Chinese espionage without any court order or any other review process. We are crazy to allow them to operate in U.S. without tighter restrictions https://t.co/AXtTDgufc9
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) May 14, 2018
Our intelligence agencies have warned that ZTE technology and phones pose a major cyber security threat. You should care more about our national security than Chinese jobs. https://t.co/7Ygh7805jg
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) May 13, 2018
It is uncertain what will happen next for ZTE and other Chinese telecommunication companies. However, if you’re in the US and want to get ZTE smartphones like Blade V9 or a Red Magic, it might be wise to have a backup plan.