U.S. suspends export privileges to Chinese telecom giant ZTE

Visitors pass in front of the ZTE Corp. booth at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona Spain

Shares of U.S. optical components makers fell on Monday after the U.S. Department of Commerce said it was banning companies from selling components to Chinese telecom equipment maker ZTE Corp for seven years. The seven-year ban has been placed on ZTE for violating the terms of a sanctions violation case, according to USA officials. After the US placed export restrictions on ZTE in 2016 for Iran sanctions violations, the China's Ministry of Commerce and Foreign Ministry criticized the decision.

The Commerce Department has determined ZTE made false statements to the Bureau of Industry and Security in 2016 and 2017 related to "senior employee disciplinary actions the company said it was taking or had already taken", the department said in a statement Monday. The DOC, however, contends that ZTE failed to significantly penalize those employees. "This egregious behavior can not be ignored", Ross said in a statement. It paid $890 million in fines and penalties, with an additional penalty of $300 million that could be imposed.

Trump on Monday accused China along with Russian Federation of devaluing their currencies, opening a new front in his argument that foreign governments are exploiting the U.S.

However, ZTE was also supposed to "discipline" 35 other employees, which the company has since admitted to having not done.

ZTE didn't respond to calls seeking comment that were made after business hours in China.

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"ZTE misled the Department of Commerce.Instead of reprimanding ZTE staff and senior management, ZTE rewarded them.This egregious behaviour can not be ignored", Ross said.

United States officials made this known on Monday banning American companies from selling components to the Chinese telecom equipment maker.

China is trying to gain access to sensitive USA technologies and intellectual properties through telecommunications companies, academia and joint business ventures, United States senators and spy chiefs had warned.

The official said there is no "off ramp" for the company to seek a reversal of the blockade.

"ZTE made false statements to the US Government when they were originally caught and put on the Entity List, made false statements during the reprieve it was given, and made false statements again during its probation".

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