President Donald Trump has told the U.S. Commerce Department to get ZTE Corp., the massive Chinese telecom equipment maker, back into business.
Trump said in a Sunday morning tweet that he and Chinese leader Xi Jinping are working together to give ZTE “a way to get back into business, fast.” He said the “Commerce Department has been instructed to get it done!” because “too many jobs in China lost.”
A U.S. blockade has choked off the revenue of the No. 2 Chinese telecom company, which regards the next two weeks as crucial as it faces potential collapse. The firm said May 10 it’s suspended all major operations.
ZTE has been trying to resolve the blockade Washington imposed in April as punishment for violating the terms of a 2017 sanctions settlement, then lying about it. That cut off access to the U.S. technology it needs to build most of its products, from Qualcomm Inc.’s semiconductors to optical chips from Lumentum Holdings Inc.
ZTE’s increasingly precarious position is exacerbating tensions between the world’s two biggest economies, now involved in sensitive negotiations to try and forestall a trade war.
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