Some of the world’s most prominent wireless carriers are reconsidering their ties to embattled Chinese device maker ZTE — or dropping the company altogether.
The smartphone maker said Wednesday it shut down its main operations after U.S. officials restricted its ability to import American goods, a move that effectively shut off ZTE’s supply of crucial phone components and other technology.
The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that Telstra, Australia’s top carrier, would stop carrying its own-brand phones made by ZTE due to supply concerns.
Others, meanwhile, indicated they continued to evaluate the impact of the ban and subsequent shutdown, including AT&T, the top distributor of ZTE phones in the U.S., and South African telecom giant MTN.
The paper also noted that numerous U.S. firms utilize ZTE networking equipment.
The Commerce Department last month implemented a seven-year “denial of export privileges” on ZTE after an investigation showed the company mislead the U.S. about disciplinary measures it took in the wake of illegal shipments to Iran and North Korea.
ZTE officials responded that the “severe” action was “extremely unfair” and made without waiting for an investigation or corrective measures. The company said Sunday it had asked the government to suspend the ban.