Sun, Apr 29, 2018 - Page 16 News List

ZTE silent on sanctions, reports jump in earnings


ZTE Corp (中興通訊) on Friday reported its earnings have surged, without addressing the effect of US sanctions that threaten to derail its crucial global expansion into next-generation telecom networking.

The second-largest Chinese telecom gear maker, which had delayed its results release by a week to digest a seven-year ban on purchasing US components, did not offer an update on the crisis.

Instead, the Shenzhen, China-based company reported a 39 percent jump in net income for the first quarter of this year and merely said it was still assessing the effect of being placed on the US Department of Commerce’s blacklist.

“The company is currently unable to accurately and comprehensively assess its impact in this report,” ZTE said in an earnings statement released late on Friday, adding that once it has “fully and accurately estimated the impact,” it would release an updated first-quarter report.

ZTE’s plight has come to encapsulate tensions between the world’s two largest economies that threaten to stifle global trade and chill investment in technology.

ZTE was preparing to lead China’s charge into the era of blazing fast 5G wireless technology, along with local rival Huawei Technologies Co (華為技術).

Instead, it ran afoul of Washington for the second time in a year, inciting a seven-year moratorium on purchases from US suppliers for breaching a sanctions settlement last year and then lying about it.

The company finds itself grappling again with sanctions just as major wireless carriers prepare to roll out 5G networks worldwide.

ZTE, which once harbored ambitions of vying with Apple Inc in smartphones, has called the punishment “unacceptable” and threatened to take legal action.

ZTE shares remain suspended in Hong Kong and Shenzhen until further notice.

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