Finance

USA bars sales to ZTE - Qualcomm's loss could be MediaTek's gain

USA bars sales to ZTE - Qualcomm's loss could be MediaTek's gain

ZTE said in a statement released early on Friday that it is unacceptable for the U.S. organisation to unfairly impose devastating restrictions and ignore the company's continuing compliance work. The company promised to discipline employees involved in the scheme, but the U.S. Commerce Department said this week they were paid bonuses instead.

China's ZTE Corporation blasted the US government's decision to carry out a 7-year ban of its purchase of crucial American components, calling the move "extremely unfair" and "unacceptable" and so that threatens its survival.

Consumer activists and technology experts are advising consumers to hold off on buying Android handsets from China's ZTE until the company clarifies whether USA sanctions against the company prevent it from providing operating system updates for its devices. Last year alone, it said it invested more than US$50 million in its export control compliance efforts and planned to invest more resources this year.

On Friday ZTE said that the denial order would not just impact severely the development and survival of ZTE, but would cause damages to ZTE's partners including a large number of companies in the U.S. Washington has also pressured USA companies not to buy networking equipment and smartphones from ZTE and rival Huawei over concerns they could pose a national security risk due to potential for spying by Beijing.

"The incident is a technology war in essence, and we should be alert that the United States will politicize economic frictions", economist Zhang Lianqi said.

"In any case, ZTE will not give up its efforts to resolve the issue through communication, and we are also determined, if necessary, to take judicial measures to protect the legal rights and interests of our company, our employees and our shareholders, and to fulfill obligations and take responsibilities to our global customers, end-users, partners and suppliers", the Chinese vendor said.

The episode with ZTE could risk escalating the trade disputes between China and the U.S. Both have traded threats of placing billions of dollars in tariffs but technology had been one area of particular contention.

In response, ZTE reiterated efforts it made to ensure compliance to USA export laws.

The government expects local chips to take up 40 percent of the market in 2020 and 70 percent in 2025. China's ZTE went on to say, despite allegedly coming to an agreement over the finalized penalty, that such ostensible retribution is "unacceptable".


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