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This article was published on May 14, 2018

President Trump promises to grant ZTE a new lease of life

President Trump promises to grant ZTE a new lease of life
Abhimanyu Ghoshal
Story by

Abhimanyu Ghoshal

Managing Editor

Abhimanyu is TNW's Managing Editor, and is all about personal devices, Asia's tech ecosystem, as well as the intersection of technology and Abhimanyu is TNW's Managing Editor, and is all about personal devices, Asia's tech ecosystem, as well as the intersection of technology and culture. Hit him up on Twitter, or write in: [email protected].

Chinese hardware firm ZTE, which you’ll remember as the company behind last October’s foldable Android phone and the owner of phone brand Nubia, was practically dead in the water as of last month owing to crushing US sanctions. Now, it’s found an unlikely savior in President Trump.

Back in March 2017, the company was ordered to pay $1.2 billion in fines for violating sanctions by shipping sensitive US-made technology to Iran. Last month, it was banned from receiving and using American software and hardware in its products (including Qualcomm processors), and found its manufacturing arm unable to deliver new devices, which includes a range of phones and telecom equipment.

On Sunday, President Trump tweeted that he’s keen to see ZTE rescued:

Trump didn’t share any further details – but it’ll be interesting to see what spells for the Chinese firm, which employs some 75,000 people and was the fourth largest phone brand in the US as of last August. It may also have wider implications for the ongoing battle between the US and China in trade dealings, as the American government is currently demanding that the Chinese government put an end to subsidies for advanced manufacturing firms there, in a bid to bring jobs and spending back stateside.