HONG KONG (Reuters) - Employees of ZTE Corp, the Chinese telecom equipment maker, are cheering a tweet by U.S. President Donald Trump that suggested a resolution is in sight for a devastating ban on sales to the Chinese company.
In an unexpected reversal of a hardline U.S. stance on the issue, Trump said on Twitter on Sunday that he and Chinese President Xi Jinping were working together to give ZTE “a way to get back into business, fast”, citing the loss of many jobs in China.
ZTE was last month hit by a move by Washington to forbid U.S. firms supplying the Chinese company with components and technology after it was found to have violated U.S. export restrictions by illegally shipping goods to Iran. It has since said that it has suspended its main business operations.
Trump’s tweet was reposted widely by ZTE employees on social media with comments expressing relief, taking it as a sign of a an impending settlement.
“Wow! Breaking good news!” a ZTE manager wrote on her WeChat account, pointing to Trump’s remark that the U.S. “Commerce Department has been instructed to get it done”.
“Almost there,” wrote another ZTE employee.
According to a source close to the company, ZTE management welcomed the latest development and planned to negotiate with the U.S. side for a resolution under the guidance of the Chinese government.
The news boosted telecom and semiconductor related stocks in China, which were among the best performing on Monday.
Zhong Fu Tong Group, a communication network maintenance service provider and ZTE supplier, rose by the daily limit of 10 percent.
ZTE employees contacted by Reuters