ZTE had a rough go of things at the beginning of 2018, and while Huawei was able to avoid the majority of ire from the United States government, it looks like it couldn’t avoid it for long.
President Trump has signed a bill, the Defense Authorization Act, that bans government officials from using ZTE and Huawei tech. This ban extends to government contractors as well and goes into effect over the next two years.
The ban itself covers tech that is “essential” or “critical” from Huawei and ZTE in systems they are used in. That means that some components from both companies can still be used, but they are required to not have any access to data, whether it’s viewing it or routing it.
For its part, Huawei says this “random addition” to the larger defense bill is “ineffective, misguided, and unconstitutional”. However, it does not appear that the company plans on fighting the bill.
In terms of ZTE, what started as a ban which prevented U.S.-based companies from selling parts to ZTE eventually led to the smartphone maker ceasing its main business operations. Things started to look a bit brighter for the company as President Trump said he was working with the Chinese government to get ZTE back up and running and, indeed, in June it was reported that ZTE had worked out the beginning of a deal with the U.S. government, and a signed agreement got the company closer to getting back up and running.
A little after that, the U.S. Senate voted to reinstate the sales ban on ZTE, citing national security as their reasoning. While ZTE has worked behind the scenes to get the ban lifted, a recent reprieve for the company was only meant to be temporary. However, back in July the U.S. government and the smartphone manufacturer signed a deal to officially lift the ban.