(Reuters) - Chinese technology company ZTE Corp 0000063.SZ (0763.HK), which this month suspended its main operations after a U.S. Commerce Department ban on American supplies to its business, paid over $2.3 billion to 211 U.S. exporters in 2017, a senior ZTE official said on Friday.
As one of the world’s largest telecom equipment makers, ZTE relied on U.S. companies such as Qualcomm and Intel for components.
The extent of the impact of the Commerce Department ban on U.S. suppliers was noted by the ZTE official, who was not authorized to speak publicly, as Chinese and U.S. government officials discuss a Washington visit next week by China’s top economic official.
In March last year ZTE paid nearly $900 million in penalties for exporting U.S. technology to Iran and North Korea in violation of sanctions.
In April this year, the Commerce Department found ZTE had violated the terms of last year’s settlement and banned U.S. companies from providing exports to ZTE for seven years. As a result, ZTE suspended its main operating activities earlier this month.
The Commerce Department ban on U.S. suppliers exporting goods to the Chinese network equipment and handset maker was discussed when a delegation led by U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin met with Chinese officials in Beijing last week.
China requested that President Donald Trump back off his threat of tariffs on Chinese imports, treat Chinese investments equally under U.S. security reviews, and reassess the ban on ZTE.