ZTE suspends trading on stock market following U.S. and United Kingdom bans

Visitors pass in front of the ZTE Corp. booth at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona Spain

ZTE agreed to a criminal and civil fine of $1.19 billion in 2017, and in addition to this, said it would fire four of its executives and either reprimand or cut back bonuses of 35 other workers.

But as the Commerce Department revealed in its order filed today, ZTE never reprimanded its 35 lower-level employees, and worse, it made false statements to the Department about its compliance. A denial of export privileges prohibits a person from participating in any way in any transaction subject to the EAR. Although Commerce Department officials would not discuss the report, they said the department followed up in February.

ZTE pleaded guilty to conspiring to unlawfully export, obstruction of justice and making a false statement.

"I note the multiple false and misleading statements made to the U.S. Government during its investigation of ZTE's violations of the Regulations, and the behavior and actions of ZTE since then".

The U.S. and British governments are telling companies to steer clear of Chinese smartphone maker ZTE.

The FT's report notes that Levy's letter also cites a recent settlement between ZTE and U.S. officials, in which the Chinese firm agreed to pay a $1.2bn fines for violating United States sanctions on North Korea and Iran. Some ZTE smartphones sold in the USA are equipped with Qualcomm chips.

Separately, cybersecurity officials in the United Kingdom warned mobile carriers to avoid using ZTE equipment because of concern that China could use the technology to infiltrate telecommunications infrastructure. Commerce said the individuals were identified by a trail of internal memos within ZTE discussing how the company might evade USA restrictions on shipping to Iran. "That was in response to the USA asking for the information".

The BBC reported that the cyber-defence watchdog has contacted British telecoms providers to warn them that using ZTE equipment and services could pose a national security risk.

The US Department of Commerce's Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) has imposed a denial of export privileges order against ZTE, after coming to the conclusion it lied to the committee on numerous occasions.

The decision will not only impact ZTE.

On the other hand, it's possible that the government can prohibit the import of any ZTE equipment, but it may be saving that option if further actions are warranted.

The ZTE rebuke adds to U.S. Ciena competes with ZTE in the global market.

The bigger picture is of course the growing tensions between the west and China over technological advancement and alleged spying concerns, which is making it hard for Chinese manufacturers such as ZTE and Huawei to sell their goods to USA carriers.

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