ZTE urged to clarify if U.S. ban will affect Android phone updates

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On Tuesday, China's Ministry of Commerce (MOC) had threatened retaliatory measures hours after the U.S. announced activation of denial of export privileges against the Chinese telecom equipment maker - ZTE - for alleged violations of the Export Administration Regulations.

Trading in its shares has been suspended in China since Tuesday.

That's a reference to the share price dips for United States companies Acacia Communications and Qualcomm in the wake of the ban, as both count (ed) ZTE among their larger clients. The Commerce Department said ZTE reneged on a pledge to discipline employees who were involved in violating usa controls on technology sales to Iran and North Korea and instead paid them bonuses.

According to Reuters, ZTE slammed the ban, saying it is unfair and that it threatens the very survival of the company.

The Shenzhen-based firm listed rectification work carried out since March 2016, when it was accused of violating USA export restrictions to Iran, including the establishment of a compliance committee that had more than US$50m invested in it past year. Specifically, Washington said that ZTE had failed to reprimand certain employees as required by the earlier settlement. It also noted the USA agency that conducted the investigation imposed the new ban "even before the completion of investigation of facts, ignoring the continuous diligent work of ZTE and the progress we have made on export compliance". It would also handicap the mainland's ability to build the world's largest 5G network by the end of this decade.




Even so, ZTE would have little recourse in the near term because appeals would have to be approved by the BIS, the same agency that issued the ban.

Pointing to "lessons" it learnt from "past experience", ZTE said it had established a compliance committee led by its CEO, developed a global team of experts in export control compliance, and sought professional advice from counsels and consultants. ZTE, however, claims in a statement that it is boosting export compliance and needs more time to investigate.

ZTE said it will not give up efforts to solve problems through communication, and it is determined to take judicial measures to protect the legal rights and interests of the company.

"We can see compliance risk has become a core risk for Chinese firms that join worldwide competition", the trade body said in the proposal dated April 18. "Within ZTE, compliance is regarded as the foundation and bottom-line of the company's operation".

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