“Tonight Old Hu and Global Times staff are all ZTE people!” wrote Hu Xijin, editor-in-chief of both the Chinese (环球时报) and English versions of the Global Times, on Sina Weibo via his iPhone 7. In light of the US Department of Commerce putting a seven year ban on US companies selling components to State-owned ZTE, China is questioning its dependence on the US and what will become of China’s progress in 5G.

ZTE makes equipment for China Mobile and Telefonica and is dependent on US suppliers such as chip maker Qualcomm. As the ban also includes licenses, there is the possibility that Google could no longer supply Android, the operating system used by all ZTE-made smartphones, according to Bloomberg.

On April 16 (US time), the US Department of Commerce imposed a seven-year ban after it was found that ZTE had not kept to an agreement it reached with a US court. The US had determined that ZTE had gone against US sanctions by selling products to Iran. The agreement included ZTE firing four top executives and not paying bonuses to 35 others and that failure to do so would result in a seven-year ban. ZTE acknowledged in March that it had in fact paid the bonuses.

Start your free trial now.

Get instant access to all our premium content, archives, newsletters, and online community.

Monthly Membership

Yearly Membership

What you get

Full access to all premium content and our full archives

Members'-only newsletters

Preferential access and discounts to all TechNode events

Direct access to the TechNode newsroom

Start your free trial now.

Get instant access to all our premium content, archives, newsletters, and online community.

Monthly Membership

Yearly Membership

Frank Hersey

Frank Hersey is a Beijing-based tech reporter who's been coming to China since 2001. He tries to go beyond the headlines to explain the context and impact of developments in China's tech sector. Get in...