The Chinese telecom maker urged its American suppliers to apply for U.S. export licenses so it can get the parts it needs to make its products. Fred Katayama reports.
Chinese smartphone maker ZTE taking steps to deal with the trade restrictions Washington slapped on Monday. The U.S. says ZTE violated its export controls by shipping American-made products to Iran. So it banned American manufacturers from selling components to ZTE. Now, a source tells Reuters ZTE is urging its U.S. suppliers to apply for export licenses so it can access the telecom parts it needs. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said, "We hope the U.S. stops this erroneous action and avoids damaging Sino-U.S. trade cooperation and bilateral relations." ZTE, the fourth largest seller of smartphones in the U.S behind LG, relies on American parts to make its products. The Wall Street Journal says Qualcomm is ZTE's most prominent supplier. The chipmaker gets patent royalties from ZTE, which uses Qualcomm's chips in its phones. ZTE's website lists Microsoft, Intel, IBM, and Honeywell as "key strategic partners." While U.S. suppliers can apply for licenses to ship products to ZTE, the Journal says winning approval for the licenses would be difficult.