China's ZTE says main business operations cease due to U.S. ban

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According to Reuters, ZTE has ceased all major operations following the United States export ban it faces, following a failure to have the ban reversed or modified. The US hit the company with a $1.2 billion fine, but agreed to suspend an export ban for a three-year probation period. For now, the company has enough money to maintain "its commercial obligations subject to compliance with laws and regulations".

"The Company and related parties are actively communicating with the relevant US government departments in order to facilitate the modification or reversal of the Denial Order by the USA government and forge a positive outcome in the development of the matters".

ZTE said that the U.S ban was unfair and threatens its survival. During the meetings, Chinese officials said they also raised their objections to ZTE's punishment with the USA team, who they said agreed to report them to Trump. Now we have an answer: the company has ground to a halt.

The UK government also revealed it was uncertain about ZTE shortly after, with the NCSC issuing a warning to UK telcos urging them not to use ZTE equipment. But the Commerce Department has asserted that ZTE's practices were egregious and included a surreptitious system to sell American-made goods in Iran.

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The Chinese firm did not respond to calls and messages from Reuters seeking comment.

In a separate filing last week, ZTE said that it would not rule out taking legal actions against the export ban.

One employee said this was the "the biggest challenge" for ZTE since he joined 10 years ago.

This followed the revelation that ZTE had flouted a U.S. order by shipping US-made components to Iran and North Korea in 2017.

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