China's ZTE said to appeal U.S. export ban after lobby efforts fail

Wed Mar 16, 2016 12:06am EDT
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By Steve Stecklow and Joel Schectman

LONDON/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - China's ZTE Corp will appeal tough U.S. export restrictions imposed last week, according to a person familiar with the matter, after the telecom equipment maker's costly lobbying effort failed to allay concerns about its business.

The U.S. Commerce Department imposed restrictions on U.S. suppliers providing crucial components to ZTE for alleged Iran sanctions violations, a move likely to disrupt its global supply chain.

"The U.S. Department of Commerce and ZTE Corp are in ongoing discussions," a senior Commerce Department official told Reuters. "These discussions have been constructive, and we will continue to seek a resolution."

How long the appeals process might take remains unclear. It usually takes a year or more for export curbs to be removed for a company, but Washington can act more quickly.

ZTE, also a top smartphone maker, declined to comment on its appeal plans or about its lobbying efforts.

In statements following the imposition of the restrictions, ZTE said it was "actively facilitating communications with the U.S. governmental department to search for a solution."

LOBBY SPENDING   Continued...

Guests and employees chat under a ZTE company logo in front of the venue of the company's 15th anniversary celebration in Beijing April 18, 2013. REUTERS/Barry Huang