ZTE requests that US Department of Commerce suspend seven-year ban

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ZTE Corp's (0763.HK) (000063.SZ) main business operations have ceased due to a ban imposed by the US government, but China's second biggest telecom equipment maker is trying to have the ban modified or reversed, it said on Wednesday. "Major operating activities of the company have ceased" as a result of the U.S. Commerce Department "denial order" issued last month, ZTE said in a statement.

ZTE says it's in communication with the USA government to try and reverse or modify the ban. The announcement comes after ZTE, China's second-largest telecom equipment company, was found by the U.S. to have illegally shipped its products to Iran, per Reuters.

The ban that threatens to cut off ZTE's supply chain came amid heightened tension over a possible U.S.

ZTE said it maintains sufficient cash and will strictly adhere to its commercial obligations. ZTE, the fourth-largest smartphone vendor in the United States, does business with more than 160 countries and employs 75,000 people; the Times calls it the "biggest electronics maker you've never heard of".

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The company announced the move in a securities filing on Wednesday.

In addition to this ban, the company faces several other issues related to US trade.

Chinese mobile and networking firm ZTE has announced it is shutting down just weeks after being hit with a U.S. government ban. Back in March, the company was fined about $900 million after admitting of selling products with U.S. tech to restricted countries such as Iran. The company agreed to pay out a fine for those actions and said that it would discipline the company officials behind the plan to violate the US laws. In response, the US Department of Commerce banned US firms from supplying tech and parts to the company until 2025, according to the New York Times. The company was forced to pay a $1.2 billion fine, fired four senior employees and hit 35 others with wage and bonus restrictions. It blamed a decision from the Commerce Department banning USA businesses from selling to the Chinese firm, after it pleaded guilty to conspiring to sell technology to Iran in violation of US sanctions.

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