ZTE plummets after US Senate puts Trump reprieve in doubt

19 Junio, 2018, 09:41 | Author: Kelly Blake
  • CNA file

The Senate voted late Monday afternoon 85-10 to block the Trump administration from lifting the "death penalty" imposed on ZTE, a Chinese cell phone giant with its USA headquarters near Dallas.

ZTE was hit in April with a seven-year ban barring US suppliers selling to it after it broke an agreement to discipline executives who conspired to evade USA sanctions on Iran and North Korea. ZTE pleaded guilty to those charges in March past year and was hit with $1.2 billion in fines.

This comes after the Commerce Department announced it would lift sanctions on ZTE in exchange for a billion dollar fine.

The Senate measure nullifies that action, proposing an outright ban on the government buying products and services from ZTE and another Chinese telecoms firm, Huawei.

"We're heartened that both parties made it clear that protecting American jobs and national security must come first when making deals with countries like China, which has a history of having little regard for either", a bipartisan group of senators said.

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The company's Hong Kong shares slid to their lowest since July 2016, while its Shenzhen stock fell its 10-percent daily limit on Tuesday. The company has lost around 60 percent of its value since it resumed trading last week after a two-month suspension that followed the initial ban.

The lawmakers who introduced the amendment include top Democrat Chuck Schumer and Republican Marco Rubio.

Providing $716 billion in funding for national defense for fiscal year 2019 and giving policy guidance to the Pentagon, the bill is not a done deal. "There will be a lot of congressional resistance to weakening the ZTE amendment, but I would not be surprised to see a compromise". After a personal plea from Chinese President Xi Jinping to help the company get back into business, Trump last month instructed the Commerce Department to find a solution to save ZTE.

The Senate version of the bill will now be sent to committee, where senators will resolve differences between it and the House version passed in May.

Its fiberoptic networks depend on U.S. components and its cheap smartphones sold en masse overseas are powered by USA chips and the Android operating system.

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