NETWORKING HARDWARE FIRM Cisco reportedly has distanced itself from Chinese telecom equipment maker ZTE following allegations that the firm sold Cisco branded equipment to Iran.
Reuters reports that Cisco began its investigation into ZTE following allegations that the company sold Cisco networking equipment to the Telecommunication Company of Iran last July.
Accusations that ZTE sold US branded technology to the Iranian government have led to investigations by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the US Department of Commerce and now Cisco.
"ZTE is highly concerned with the matter and is communicating with Cisco," ZTE spokesman David Dai Shu told Reuters.
"At the same time, ZTE is actively cooperating with the US government about the probe to Iran. We believe it will be properly addressed."
Cisco's decision to end its relationship with ZTE ends a seven year partnership between the companies. According to Reuters, ZTE brought the partnership together as a way to strengthen its enterprise opportunities in China and Asia Pacific.
Five years ago the partnership expanded when Cisco decided ZTE could help it combat Chinese telecom firm Huawei in emerging markets. Cisco reportedly licensed technology to ZTE, which would build equipment locally as a way to reduce manufacturing costs.
When The INQUIRER contacted Cisco about the reports of the ended partnership a company spokesperson said, "Cisco has no current relationship with ZTE."
ZTE has had a controversial year up to this point. The US House of Representatives Intelligence Committee recently accused the communications firm of helping the Chinese government mount a cyber-espionage campaign against the US government.
Mobile software company Vringo also recently hit ZTE with a patent infringement lawsuit. Vringo is accusing ZTE of infringing three patents pertaining to cellular networking technology.
"ZTE's liability will continue to increase as long as the issue remains unresolved," Vringo chief operating officer Alexander Berger said in a statement.
"We hope that ZTE will work with us to resolve this matter in a positive and productive manner."
Following news of the lawsuit stock in Vringo rose over 20 per cent. µ
This article was originally published on V3.
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