CELEBRITY APPRENTICE HOST Donald Trump has pledged to help Chinese telecoms outfit ZTE get "back into business" as too many jobs in China are at risk.
ZTE last week announced that it was suspending operations after the US Department of Commerce slapped the firm with a seven-year sales ban after it broke sanctions on sales to North Korea and Iran.
The ban prevents American companies, such as Qualcomm and Dolby, from selling components to ZTE, and reports claimed the sanctions could also cost the company its Android licence. According to Reuters, US manufacturers provide up to a third of the components used in ZTE's network equipment and smartphones.
The beleaguered Chinese firm, which has 75,000 employees and recently ranked as the fourth most popular smartphone maker in America, said last week it's "actively communicating" with the US for a reversal of the import ban, which at the time seemed unlikely given US gov's long-standing viewpoint that Chinese tech firms pose a threat to national security.
What's more, the Trump administration earlier this month ordered retail outlets on US military bases to stop selling and ZTE devices, over fears that the Chinese government could snoop on soldiers' communications.
However, it seems it's, er, Trump to the rescue, as the US prez tweeted over the weekend that he's working with China's president Xi to help ZTE get back into business.
President Xi of China, and I, are working together to give massive Chinese phone company, ZTE, a way to get back into business, fast. Too many jobs in China lost. Commerce Department has been instructed to get it done!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 13, 2018
In a second tweet, Trump said that: "China and the United States are working well together on trade, but past negotiations have been so one sided in favor of China, for so many years, that it is hard for them to make a deal that benefits both countries. But be cool, it will all work out!"
White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters confirmed the move, saying that Trump expects Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross "to exercise his independent judgement, consistent with applicable laws and regulations, to resolve the regulatory action involving ZTE based on its facts".
Washington lawyer Douglas Jacobson, who represents some of ZTE's suppliers, said: "This is a fascinating development in a highly unusual case that has gone from a sanctions and export control case to a geopolitical one."
But Democratic lawmaker Adam Schiff, didn't agree,, saying on Twitter: "Our intelligence agencies have warned that ZTE technology and phones pose a major cyber security threat.
"You (Trump) should care more about our national security than Chinese jobs." µ
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