National security warning for British firms dealing with Chinese telecoms giant ZTE

NCSC warns UK telcos against ZTE equipment due to 'national security' concerns

We briefly talked with ZTE during last MWC about their partnership with Qualcomm and were told that the relationship is very strong and ZTE had continued plans to use Qualcomm chipsets in the future.

According to Reuters, the ban "could be devastating to ZTE since American companies are estimated to provide 25 percent to 30 percent of the components used in ZTE's equipment".

ZTE didn't address the developments in the United Kingdom, where the country's National Cyber Security Centre warned phone carriers that using the Chinese company's equipment and services poses risks to national security.

"ZTE made false statements to the U.S. Government when they were originally caught and put on the Entity List, made false statements during the reprieve it was given, and made false statements again during its probation", Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said in a statement provided to TechCrunch.

An export ban means U.S. component makers will be prohibited from selling to ZTE, which regularly buys handset chipsets from Qualcomm, and optical components from such companies as Maynard, Acacia, Oclaro and Lumentum, Jefferies equities analyst Edison Lee wrote in a report titled "All hell breaks loose".

The action of the ban imposed by the US on the ZTE corp. means that one of the world's top manufacturers of smart phones and communication gear will not be able to buy technology from American Supplies.

Huawei phones are already effectively shut out of the U.S. market, but ZTE has made inroads.

The Department of Commerce issued an order barring USA exports of sensitive technology to the Chinese company for seven years.

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"At present, the company is assessing the full range of potential implications that this issue has on it, and is communicating with relevant parties proactively in order to respond accordingly", the company said. ZTE declined to verify the contents of Yin's memo.

They downgraded ZTE shares to underperform and cut their price target on its stock by more than half.

It continued: "The Ministry of Commerce will pay close attention to the progress of the situation and stands ready to take necessary measures to safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese companies". It said the Shenzhen-based company has cooperated with hundreds of USA companies and contributed to the country's job creation.

"The U.K. telecommunications network already contains a significant amount of equipment supplied by Huawei, also a Chinese equipment manufacturer", NCSC said in a statement.

ZTE had planned to introduce a 5G smartphone in about a year, with possibilities for a 5G tablet or wireless-internet hub, Cheng Lixin, ZTE's USA chief, said at the CES trade show in Las Vegas in January.

However, last month, the company admitted it had not taken action against the 35 additional members of staff. He previously served as president at ZTE for two three-year terms, from 2004 to 2010.

Douglas Jacobson, an exports control lawyer who represents suppliers to ZTE, called the ban highly unusual and said it would severely affect the company.

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