Mobile/Wireless Components

Trump Denies ZTE Deal, Faces Senate Backlash

President Trump said Tuesday that there is no deal yet to save Chinese telecom vendor ZTE, which has shut up shop after the US blocked component sales to the company, and the Senate Banking Committee Tuesday moved to block any easing of sanctions on ZTE by the president.

ZTE Corp. (Shenzhen: 000063; Hong Kong: 0763) ceased operations on May 9 after the US shut down components exports of American-made chipsets and more, following long-time accusations that the company traded with Iran and North Korea. (See ZTE Ceases Business Operations After US Ban.)

On May 13, Trump tweeted "President Xi of China, and I, are working together to give massive Chinese phone company, ZTE, a way to get back into business, fast." This surprised many, but those words are getting tougher to write every day. (See Trump Tweets on ZTE… & Gives the Chinese Vendor a Lifeline!)

The ZTE issue may have hampered wider trade talks with China, however, with US lawmakers angered by the reports that Trump would lift the export ban related to ZTE in favor of a $1.3 billion fine. (See Trump Tweetplomacy Could Backfire.)

"There is no deal. We will see what happens," Mr. Trump said in comments to reporters during a meeting between Mr. Trump and President Moon Jae-in of South Korea, The New York Times reported.

Almost concurrently on Tuesday, the Senate Banking Committee voted 23-2 to block Trump from easing sanctions on ZTE without first proving to Congress that ZTE is complying with US law. Meanwhile, 20 senators -- from both parties -- wrote urging Trump not to compromise on a deal with ZTE.

Stay tuned for the latest!

— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading

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