ZTE postpones earnings report after being slapped with U.S. exports ban

Chinese phone maker ZTE is unable to access US components for now

According to IHS-Markit, ZTE shipped 46.4 million smartphones in 2017, about 3 percent of the market and down 20 percent on the previous year.

The U.S. Commerce Department banned American firms on Monday from selling parts and software to ZTE 000063.SZ for seven years.

Despite making great headlines, suspicion about the security risks surrounding Chinese hardware which powers much of the global internet and cellular networks is nothing new. "It's rare that you go from A-OK to no transactions overnight".

About a year ago, ZTE pleaded guilty to violating USA sanctions against Iran and North Korea.

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Republican U.S. senators have also introduced legislation that would block the U.S. government from buying or leasing telecoms equipment from Huawei or ZTE.

ZTE 000063.SZ and the Alphabet Inc (GOOGL.O) unit have been discussing the impact of the ban, the source added, but the two companies were still unclear about the use of Android by ZTE as of Tuesday morning.

The final say over whether ZTE is still able to use Android will likely rely on USA regulators.

Huawei's planned deal with US carrier AT&T Inc (T.N) to sell its smartphones in the United States collapsed in January after USA lawmakers sent a letter to Pai citing concerns about Huawei's plans to launch USA consumer products.

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Washington has not included any "off ramp" under the terms of this week's order, the official said. Alphabet and ZTE are now in discussions to determine what course of action is possible if Google is legally prevented from licensing its software.

ZTE has been dropping down the rankings of smartphone makers in recent quarters and is close to dropping out of the top ten but it still had 10 percent of the United States market in 4Q17, according to analysis firm Counterpoint Research. However, it could be that this ruling affects ZTE's deals with Google, specifically in the use of Google Play Services. A number of other chip suppliers will be affected by the ban.

ZTE, one of the world's largest telecommunications companies, has been having a rough time over the last few days. Reuters also estimated that ZTE relies on United States firms for supplying 25%-30% of components it needs for making smartphones and telecoms networks.

"China won't allow the U.S.to use chips as a stick against it". "We will continue to monitor the situation closely". Most ZTE phones sell for below $300, a low-end segment of the USA market, ZTE's mobile chief executive, Lixin Cheng, told Reuters in January.

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The analyst also said that a potential deal with the U.S authorities could cost ZTE almost $1 billion and would likely include audits by the U.S government.

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