China-based phone manufacturer ZTE, which was struggling to survive post the ban imposed by the US authorities, has now asked the US Department of Commerce to reconsider their decision. In the filing, ZTE stated that it has submitted a formal request to the US officials requesting an amendment to the ban that prevents US tech firms from selling components to ZTE.
Last week during the trade talks, the Chinese negotiators demanded that ZTE’s request be considered.
Last month, Washington had imposed a ban as ZTE after it found that the Chinese firm allegedly made false statements of over the action it took on its employees who had violated the US sanctions by illegally shipping US equipment to North Korea and Iran. The five-year probe into this ended last year, when ZTE was found guilty and was charged with $1.2 billion fine, the largest ever criminal fine in the US.
Strangely, the ban was imposed at the time when the US was engaged in an intense trade war with China. Though the US officials said the decision had nothing to do with the brewing tensions between the two countries, many in China strongly believe the ban was an outcome of the trade war.
ZTE is highly dependent on US companies for components, primarily Qualcomm (QCOM), who provides chips to the company. It is this over-reliance that forced ZTE to request the US for an amendment in the ban.