China urges US to properly handle trade relations after ZTE settlement

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-03-09 17:06

BEIJING — China on Thursday urged the United States to act properly for the healthy development of bilateral trade relations.

Sun Jiwen, a spokesperson of the Ministry of Commerce, made the remarks at a press conference, responding to ZTE having reached a settlement with US authorities over US export controls and sanctions charges.

China has always resolutely opposed US sanctions on Chinese companies using its domestic laws, and required Chinese companies to operate in compliance with local laws and regulations on overseas market, Sun said.

"We hope the US side will properly handle the issue within the larger picture of Sino-US economic and trade relations, so as to create a good atmosphere for the stable and healthy development of bilateral economic and trade relations," he said.

China's largest listed telecom equipment maker ZTE said Tuesday night that it had reached a settlement with US authorities over US export controls and sanctions charges" in order to clear unstable factors in the global communications market."

The Chinese company has agreed to pay a criminal and civil penalty of about $892 million and an additional penalty of $300 million, which will be suspended for a seven-year probationary period to deter future violations.

US authorities claimed that ZTE and its affiliated entities had illegally shipped telecommunications equipment to certain countries in violation of US regulations.

The US Commerce Department added ZTE on the Entity List under the Export Administration Regulations in March 2016. This made it difficult for ZTE to acquire US products such as chips and software.

Following the settlement, the Bureau of Industry and Security under the US Commerce Department will recommend that ZTE be removed from the list, according to a ZTE statement Tuesday.

ZTE currently holds about 7 percent of the US smartphone market, the fourth largest after Apple, Samsung and LG. It currently has 14 offices and six research centers in the United States, with 80 percent of the total 350 staff being Americans.

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