ZTE Labeled Security Risk by UK Government

Optical Stocks Under Pressure After US Bans Sales To ZTE

Optical Stocks Under Pressure After US Bans Sales To ZTE

The U.K.'s national Cyber Security Centre warns the telecommunication companies of the country that, "National risks from ZTE equipment and services can not be mitigated".

A new report this morning reveals that a move by the United States to ban American firms selling components to the Chinese telecom equipment maker ZTE Corp will also hit a target closer to home: Qualcomm, a major supplier of chips for ZTE's phones.

The U.S. Department of Commerce slapped a seven-year ban on sales to ZTE on Monday for breaking terms of an agreement reached last year after it was caught illegally shipping goods to Iran. However, last month, the company admitted it had not taken action against the 35 additional members of staff by fining or otherwise reprimanding them. Instead of reprimanding the employees, the company is stated to have rewarded them with full bonuses. "This egregious behavior can not be ignored", claimed US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross in unveiling the tough sanctions against ZTE yesterday.

CICC predicted the Commerce ban will have a significant effect on ZTE's business - and perhaps on the building of wireless networks.

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Washington has also deepened its scrutiny of Chinese investment in the US, with the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), blocking many proposed acquisitions of USA assets by Chinese companies.

A senior department official said that the company "provided information admitting that they had made false statements".

And although the White House and the Committee of Foreign Investment in the USA has moved against China in recent weeks, it insisted that the new decision to block ZTE - already under investigation by the Barack Obama administration - is part of a backlash against the country which also includes countries such as Germany, Australia and Canada.

The sales ban came on the same day that it was revealed that the UK's National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has warned telecoms companies and other network operators of its "security concerns" with networking hardware made by Chinese vendor ZTE.

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ZTE agreed in March of past year to plead guilty and pay as much as $1.2 billion for violating USA laws restricting sale of American technology to Iran.

The action of the ban imposed by the USA on the ZTE corp. means that one of the world's top manufacturers of smart phones and communication gear will not be able to buy technology from American Supplies. ZTE already sells both its branded and white-label smartphones via mobile carriers AT&T and Verizon in the US.

The NCSC letter states that new Chinese laws allow the state to exert influence over companies and individuals, with "wide ranging powers of compulsion", according to The Financial Times.

The company grew to become one of the world's biggest telecoms equipment makers thanks to its cheap and affordable smart phone technology.

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