In April, ZTE was hit with a ban in the United States, effectively blocking the company from receiving imports from companies based out of the United States, including Qualcomm.
ZTE made it known that the ban would “severely impact” its ability to do business. It didn’t take long after that declaration that the company officially announced it would be ceasing its main business operations. But it looks like help may be coming from a rather unlikely source.
The President of the United States, Donald Trump, recently tweeted out that he is “working together” with President Xi of China to get ZTE “a way back into business, fast”. He goes on to say that there have been “too many jobs in China lost” and that the U.S. Commerce Department has been instructed to “get it done!”
Here’s the tweet:
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
The Pentagon has recently instructed military bases to stop selling ZTE products (and Huawei devices, too), and federal agencies have said that using smartphones from the manufacturer may put U.S. personnel at risk due to potential spying from foreign governments. On top of that, the sanctions that ZTE violated were tied to illegally shipping U.S. parts to Iran and North Korea, and the company also failed to follow through with disciplining top employees and reduce bonuses for those sanctions violations.
There’s no word on what Trump might be doing to actually help ZTE at this time.