U.S. places sanctions on ZTE, China reacts immediately
"China is opposed to the U.S. citing domestic laws on place sanctions on Chinese enterprises. We hope the U.S. stops this erroneous action and avoids damaging Sino-US trade cooperation and bilateral relations," a China foreign ministry spokesman said in a news briefing.
Shares in ZTE were suspended in Hong Kong and Shenzhen on Monday. The company said in a statement that it was highly concerned at reports of the US plan.
The US Commerce Department began investigating ZTE in 2012, after Reuters reported the company had agreed to ship millions of dollars worth of hardware and software to Telecommunication Co of Iran (TCI).
It was understood the investigation would focus on whether ZTE acquired American products through front companies and shipped them to Iran, in violation of the sanctions.
ZTE maintained an active operation in the US, selling smartphones and other consumer products as well as supplying telecoms with broadband and mobile telephony equipment. ■