To most of us, ZTE might seem like just another company that specializes in creating mobile products like smartphones. However to the US Government, it seems that ZTE’s operations might involve more than that, and a report from The Wall Street Journal has revealed that the US Commerce Department has recently slapped the Chinese Company with trade restrictions.
So why the restrictions? According to the Commerce Department, this is apparently due to ZTE trading with Iran and have been acting in “contrary to the national security and foreign policy interests of the United States.” It also seems that not only were they trading with Iran, but they apparently traded items like components and software that were made in the US.
The agency says that ZTE allegedly planned to use shell companies “to illicitly reexport controlled items to Iran in violation of U.S. export control laws.” Unsurprisingly ZTE has since denied those allegations in a statement which reads,“ZTE is highly concerned about recent media reports relating to a U.S. Department of Commerce investigation.”
They also claim that the company “maintains constant communications with associated departments and is committed to fully address and resolve any concerns.” China is also not too happy with the allegations themselves, and according to Hong Li, a spokesman for China’s foreign ministry, “We hope that the U.S. side can stop such erroneous practices so as to avoid further damage to China-U.S. economic cooperation and bilateral relations.”