TROUBLED CHINESE tech firm ZTE has admitted that it doesn't even know if it can get a urinal fixed because of the terms of its purchase ban from US companies.
The South China Morning Post reports that a sign above the urinal explains that, because it was made by American Standard, it could not be fixed until the trade ban is lifted ZTE was unsure if it was even allowed to buy the parts.
The full notice reads: "Our company is now subject to the export ban posed by the US government. Since this bathroom appliance is a product of American Standard, we can't procure the spare parts for repair due to the export ban.
"When the export ban is lifted, we promise to get the parts, repair it, and resume operation at once. We regret any inconvenience this may have caused."
ZTE has been struggling to keep going after the ban. President Trump (still feels weird to write that) has negotiated a $1bn fine which, if paid, would allow ZTE to trade freely in and with the US, but there is bi-partisan opposition to it from those still concerned about the risks.
At present, Trump is trying to persuade his own party that it is a good deal. They remain unconvinced and the seven-year ban appears to be continuing.
As well as the $1bn fine, it has agreed to a further $400m to be put in escrow in case of future violations and to be monitored by a US-appointed compliance team, after admitting that it had sold products to Iran and failed to reprimand the employees who did so.
Oh yes, and they also then told the US that they had done nothing of the sort. Oopsie.
The reinstatement of the ban will next travel through the House of Representatives before being given to Trump to sign into law, which could be interesting as he is not exactly a fan of backing down and has already had to do so once this year.
However, it's worth pointing out that however much it might feel like ZTE is taking the piss, it literally can't at the moment. µ
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