Telenor Bans ZTE From New Deals
Norway's national operator, Telenor ASA (Nasdaq: TELN) has excluded Chinese vendor ZTE Corp. (Shenzhen: 000063; Hong Kong: 0763), from any business opportunities for six months because of a breach of the carrier's code of conduct.
Telenor spokesman Dag Melgaard said that "for the moment we have suspended ZTE from tender processes and new business opportunities for six months, ending March 3 next year, because of a breach of our code of conduct related to a recent tender process." He said the ban is worldwide, covering all of Telenor's international operations.
Melgaard would not provide any details about the nature of the breach, or which tender process it referred to, but an industry source has told Light Reading that ZTE representatives attempted to bribe Telenor officials in the course of a recent business tender.
ZTE says the problem was caused by a rogue employee. In a statement emailed to Light Reading and attributed to the vendor's CEO Yin Yimin, the company noted: "ZTE has a very clear Code of Conduct and, as a listed company, our employees have to adhere to the highest business standards."
It continued: "This situation between Telenor and ZTE has arisen because of the actions of a single employee in a ZTE subsidiary acting on his own behalf. The individual concerned has been disciplined and we are reviewing possible legal action. We expect to continue the strong and positive relationship between our two companies in the very near future."
Telenor has operations throughout Northern Europe (Norway, Denmark, Finland, and Sweden), Eastern Europe (Hungary, Montenegro, Serbia, Russia, and Ukraine), and Asia/Pacific (Bangladesh, Malaysia, Pakistan, and Thailand).
ZTE is a supplier of GSM mobile infrastructure to Telenor. (See ZTE Touts GSM Growth.)
— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading