Reports suggested that the Chinese government was working on ZTE's half to find a compromise, and it looks like Chinese Premier Xi Jinping himself got in touch with the U.S. President, who said today in a tweet that is he "working... to give..."
"China and the United States are working well together on trade, but past negotiations have been so one sided in favor of China, for so many years, that it is hard for them to make a deal that benefits both countries", Trump said on Twitter.
ZTE, one of the world's largest telecom equipment makers, suspended its main operations after the US Commerce Department banned American supplies to its business for seven years. Unlike many other Chinese smartphone makers, ZTE's Android phones are also popular in the U.S, thanks to low-priced phones and savvy marketing ploys (the company's sponsored five National Basketball Association teams, including the Golden State Warriors). In a statement Wednesday, ZTE said "the major operating activities of the company have ceased".
The US accused ZTE of misleading American regulators after it settled charges of violating sanctions against North Korea and Iran.
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Meanwhile, ZTE, which relies on US firms for key smartphone components, including microchips from Qualcomm and glass from Corning, has said the USA export ban is a massive disruption to its business and ZTE Chairman Yin Yimin called it unfair and unacceptable.
FBI Director Chris Wray explained why it is an issue for companies and local governments to use Huawei or ZTE products and services.
The Commerce Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Sunday.
ZTE is not among Qualcomm's publicly disclosed largest customers, which include Apple Inc, Samsung Electronics Co Ltd and Chinese smartphone makers Oppo and Vivo.
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A ZTE smart phone is pictured in this illustration.
ZTE's troubles with the US government are also playing out amid broader fears of an ascendant Chinese tech industry.
ZTE has asked the department to suspend the seven-year ban on doing business with USA technology exporters.
Along with the simmering trade fight between Trump and China, the ZTE decision represents an example of the global consequences of the fraying ties.
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But U.S. officials said this year that ZTE didn't discipline all the employees involved in the violations.