5/14/2018
11:05 AM
Scott Ferguson
Scott Ferguson
News Analysis-Security Now

Trump Tweets Lifeline to ZTE

After running afoul of the US Commerce Department and raising security concerns, ZTE appears to get a lifeline from President Trump.



President Donald Trump seemed to throw a lifeline to ZTE on Sunday in the form of a tweet, writing that he would work with the president of China to help rescue the company following crippling sanctions issued by the US Commerce Department.

Last week, the Commerce Department issued a ban against US companies selling components to ZTE, which is one of the world's largest makers of handsets. The company also sells networking equipment outside of the US.

The sanctions appeared to put ZTE out of business.

Then, on May 13, Trump tweeted he planned to work with President Xi Jinping to help ZTE return to normal operations.

ZTE has been on a rollercoaster the last several weeks when it comes to the US market and officials.

Earlier this month, the Pentagon banned Huawei and ZTE from selling smartphones to Defense Department personnel, citing national security concerns. (See Pentagon, Citing Security, Will Stop Selling Huawei, ZTE Smartphones.)

Before the Pentagon announcement, the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission said the agency would deny federal contracts and other funds to companies that posed a national security threat. Although not named, the ban is expected to target Huawei, ZTE, as well as Russia's Kasperksy Labs.

For additional details about the ups and downs for ZTE and the US government, check out the expanded coverage on Light Reading.

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— Scott Ferguson is the managing editor of Light Reading and the editor of Security Now. Follow him on Twitter @sferguson_LR.

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