Displaying items by tag: Sanctions
US technology behemoth Apple could be one of the main targets for China as they look to retaliate and respond to the US campaign against Huawei by Washington.
Chinese telecommunications behemoth ZTE has seen its share price plummet by a whopping 39% following the resumption of its trading on the Hong Kong stock exchange. The Chinese vendor was able to resume trading after it reached a resolution agreement with the United States.
ZTE looked set to go out of business following the decision by the US Commerce Department to prohibit American companies from selling crucial hardware and software components to it for a period of seven years.
US officials implemented the ban after it claimed ZTE had failed to make the changes to its Board of Directors after being found guilty of trade violations with Iran and North Korea in 2016. However, following protracted negotiations between Beijing and Washington a settlement deal was finally reached which allowed ZTE to resume business in the United States.
The telecommunications colossus may have been saved but that didn’t stop its share price from nosediving by 39.22 to HK$15.56 during Hong Kong morning trade - while it also plunged by its 10 percent daily limit to 28.18 yuan in Shenzhen.
Fiscal analysts have predicted that whilst the nightmare for ZTE may be over with the US, the company will have to deal with the consequences of that saga for a significant period of time.
Analysts Edison Lee and Timothy Chau said, “While the nightmare is now over, ZTE will likely have to deal with many changes. We expect significant near-term selling pressure and a volatile stock price."
The ZTE crisis was a major issue during trade talks between the US and China, and the Trump administration were able to use that as leverage in the discussions. The ZTE settlement came just days after Beijing offered to increase purchases of US goods by $70bn in an effort to cut the yawning trade imbalance with the US.
It has been reported that Trump has demanded a $200 billion reduction in its trade deficit with China over two years.
“The US agreement with ZTE with fine and change of management, in other words, is a political deal," said analyst Dickie Wong at Kingston Securities. "If the US didn't 'free' ZTE in this way, US companies would find it very difficult in any moves in China, including decisions on mergers and acquisitions," Wong added.
Chinese telecommunications vendor ZTE has announced that it has reached a deal with the US Commerce Department over the trade sanctions that threatened to put the powerful conglomerate out of business.
ZTE has vowed to clean up its act in light of the decision by the US after weeks of protracted talks between officials in Beijing and Washington. In April, the US Commerce Department prohibited the sale of crucial US components to ZTE for a period of seven years. It had found that the Chinese telecommunications colossus had failed to take the appropriate actions against its staff in relation to the trade violation it engaged in with Iran and North Korea.
ZTE chairman Yin Yimin said the company had to start holding the relevant people to account for the trade violations in 2016, and said the ban imposed in April highlighted the issues within its internal management systems.
In a statement released to Bloomberg, the chairman said, “We must deeply realize that this issue in essence mirrored problems in our compliance culture and management. We should hold relevant people accountable and avoid similar issues in the future."
It has been disclosed that part of the deal agreed between the US and ZTE will see the Chinese vendor pay a $1bn penalty, with another $400m in escrow to cover possible future violations. In addition to this, ZTE will also be forced to overhaul its entire board of directors and must hire outside legal compliance specialists who will in turn report directly to the Commerce Department for 10 years.
Once ZTE has executed these changes Washington will strike the company from a sanctions list. China's foreign ministry on Friday offered a muted response to the ZTE deal, but a spokeswoman added the following statement, "We also hope the US can provide a fair, equal and friendly atmosphere for Chinese enterprises' investments and operations there.”
ZTE has suffered fresh woe just hours after it disclosed details of its settlement with the US government in which it was found guilty of breaching US export control rules in North Korea and Iran from 2010 - 2016. The Chinese vendor released its forecasted loss for 2016 - and it makes grim reading for stakeholders - ZTE have forecast a loss of $343m for 2016.
The latest financial announcement comes hot on the heels of US Justice, Commerce and Treasury department imposing a whopping fine of $892m on ZTE - with a further $300m suspended for seven years. That projected loss reflects the financial provision the company made against the $892m penalty payable as part of the settlement of the US case. It has since emerged that without that financial provision, the Chinese telecommunications colossus would have reported a net profit of CNY3.83 billion in 2016 - which would have represented a 19% increase from results in 2015.
ZTE had issued a warning almost a month ago in relation to the outcome of the US trade sanctions and what impact they would have on its financial results - and they indicated that a settlement would subsequently result in a heavy fine.
For the first quarter of 2017, ZTE expects its net profit to be between CNY1.15 billion and CNY1.25 billion, an increase of between 21 per cent and 31.7 per cent from a year earlier. Revenue is forecast to increase between 10 per cent and 20 per cent from a year earlier, driven by higher revenue in its carrier networks and consumer businesses, the company said in a statement.
CEO Zhao Xianming said that coupled with recent efforts to streamline operations and its leadership around 5G, "ZTE will be well-positioned for positive overall performance. The company anticipates continued growth and business expansion over the next several years as we continue to work with our partners around the world."
Chinese telecom giants ZTE have received the largest criminal penalty in US history in relation to an export control case - following its admission that it violated the terms and conditions of US export controls in selling goods to both Iran and North Korea. ZTE pleaded guilty to the charges and the organization will immediately pay $892m - while another $300m in penalties will be suspended for a period of seven years. Some of the charges against ZTE included obstructing justice for hiding information from government investigators. The settlement reached between ZTE and US authorities is subject to court approval.
It emerged at the court case that from January 2010 to March 2016, ZTE shipped $32m in US cellular network equipment to Iran - and in addition to this made 283 shipments of cell phones to North Korea, with the full knowledge of the highest levels of company management. It was also disclosed that the company 'conspired to evade the long-standing and widely known US embargo against Iran' and conducted business with entities affiliated with Tehran to supply, build, operate and implement large scale telecommunications networks in the country whilst using US equipment and software.
The conclusion represents the end of a lengthy 5-year investigation by the US government into ZTE's activity and actions. The investigation was conducted under Barack Obama's presidency - but the outcome presents an opportunity for Donald Trump to flex his aggressive rhetoric on trade policy which was a consistent theme he used under the category of 'national security' on his campaign trail.
US commerce secretary, Wilbur Ross, said any countries that breach their export control laws will suffer the consequences and will not go unpunished. He said: "We are putting the world on notice: the games are over. Those who flout our economic sanctions and export control laws will not go unpunished -they will suffer the harshest of consequences. Under President Trump's leadership, we will be aggressively enforcing strong trade policies with the dual purpose of protecting American national security and protecting American workers."
ZTE issued a statement in relation to the settlement and acknowledged that it had made mistakes and was fully willing to take responsibility for their actions. Chairman and CEO of ZTE,
Dr. Zhao Xianming said: "ZTE acknowledges the mistakes it made, accepts responsibility for them, and remains committed to positive change in the company." He added that ZTE had made alterations to its personnel in order to eradicate the wrongdoings of a previous regime.
ZTE's CEO added: "Instituting new compliance focused features and making significant personnel changes has been a top priority for the company. We have learned many lessons from this experience and will continue on our path of becoming a model for export compliance and management excellence. We are committed to a new ZTE, compliant, healthy and trustworthy."
He concluded the statement by thanking customers, employees, stakeholders and partners for standing by them during this hugely difficult time for the organization. He said: "The agreements we reached will enable us to move forward in a stronger position than ever before. We are grateful to all our customers, partners, employees and stakeholders who have stood by us throughout this difficult time. With this agreement now behind us - we can confidently grow our business with suppliers, continue to provide innovate technology solutions to our partners, and execute our growth strategies as a new ZTE."