ZTE delays earnings report after USA parts supply ban

China's ZTE removed chief compliance officer before U.S. sanction source

The U.S. issued the seven-year ban as a result of ZTE's failure to carry out an agreement reached in the wake of its prior violation of U.S. sanctions on Iran.

ZTE said in a statement that its board had postponed a meeting to approve the results, pending an assessment of the impact of the move by the USA government.

Now the Financial Times is reporting that a letter from the United Kingdom's National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) claims that ZTE poses a national security risk and has warned British telecommunications companies against using ZTE equipment in their networks.

American companies are estimated to provide 25-30 percent of the components used in ZTE's equipment.

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ZTE has not responded to requests to describe how it intends to respond to the ban, which a senior U.S. Commerce official told Reuters is unlikely to be lifted. Trading in its shares has been suspended in China since Tuesday.

The Commerce Department has an appeals process for companies to try to get off the list, but it is unclear whether that would be available to ZTE because the case had been previously subject to a settlement.

One key area of concern is whether ZTE will be able to continue to sell phones running Google's widely used Android operating system. 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 USA market in 4Q17, according to analysis firm Counterpoint Research. ZTE is a manufacturer of mobile phones and Qualcomm is a supplier of Snapdragon processors into ZTE. As much of a problem as it will be for ZTE, Google is not likely thrilled to potentially be losing a device manufacturer, even if in the overall scope of things it's not a major problem for them. Microsoft's discontinuation of Windows Phone, BlackBerry's decision to use Android, and Apple's exclusivity of iOS to their own devices would put ZTE in a tight spot.

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