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ZTE shuts down operations following US ban

Chinese mobile and networking firm ZTE has announced it is shutting down just weeks after being hit with a US government ban.

The news was revealed in a press release which noted that, “the major operating activities of the Company have ceased”.

ZTE’s English-language homepage has also been stripped of much of its content, including its online store, apparently signifying that the company’s days are numbered, at least in Western markets.

However the company stated that it still has enough money to fulfil its commercial obligations, and is communicating with the US government to try and modify or reverse the blocking order.

Blocked

ZTE’s shutdown comes weeks after the company has hit with a ban by the US Department of Commerce which effectively ended its sales in the country, as well as blocked ZTE from working with American suppliers.

This followed the revelation that ZTE had flouted a US order by shipping US-made components to Iran and North Korea in 2017. The company was forced to pay a $1.2 billion fine, fired four senior employees and hit 35 others with wage and bonus restrictions.

The UK government also revealed it was uncertain about ZTE shortly after, with the NCSC issuing a warning to UK telcos urging them not to use ZTE equipment.

A letter leaked to the press revealed that the NCSC warned that, “the use of ZTE equipment or services within existing telecommunications infrastructure would present risk to UK national security that could not be mitigated effectively or practicably”.

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