Thanks to a ban from the U.S. Department of Commerce, ZTE has been forced to cease its global operations. Now, in a twist of fate for the company, U.S. President Donald Trump has tweeted that he and the President of China are working together to get ZTE a way back into the business.
Trump says that there’s been a lot of jobs lost in China due to ZTE shutting down its operations and that he has instructed the Commerce Department to “get it done.”
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
Last month, the United States Department of Commerce had enacted a major denial of export ruling against ZTE. This meant the company could no longer order smartphone components from America companies. In 2017, ZTE had pled guilty to “conspiring to violate U.S. sanctions”, which was tied to the fact the company was selling U.S. parts to North Korea and Iran.
Back then, ZTE had said that it would reprimand those employees who took the illegal action and deny them any bonuses. However, it did not stick to its word completely as it fired four of the senior employees but ended up handing out bonuses to 35 other employees. ZTE had initially said that if it did not live up to its end of the bargain, it would forfeit its export privileges which is what the Department of Commerce has enacted now.
It remains to be seen what the Department of Commerce now does to help ZTE get back into the business. Removing the ban seems to be the only option here, though that would then seriously undermine its own authority.