China's ZTE says main operations have ceased after US ban

Posted May 9, 2018 11:20 a.m. EDT

— ZTE Corporation, one of China's largest tech companies, has halted "major operating activities" after a US ban against the company went into effect, according to a new public filing.

Some of the company's products, which includes smartphones and telecommunications equipment, appeared to be taken offline Wednesday.

Last month, the US Commerce Department blocked American firms from selling parts or providing services to ZTE until 2025.

ZTE said in a statement in April that it expected its business to be "severely impacted" by the sanctions.

As the United States and China continue to ratchet up fears of a trade war, ZTE has become stuck in the crosshairs.

Washington accused ZTE of violating US sanctions on North Korea and Iran and then lying to US officials about whether the employees responsible were punished.

ZTE denies it did not take adequate corrective action. And the crackdown has been interpreted as part of a broader push by the United States to stifle China's tech ambition.

"It is unacceptable that [the US Commerce Department] insists on unfairly imposing the most severe penalty on ZTE even before the completion of investigation of facts," the company said in an April statement. The statement added that ZTE would continue "its efforts to resolve the issue through communication."

Those efforts so far appear to be unsuccessful. The US Commerce Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

A new filing with the Hong Kong stock exchange, where ZTE shares are traded, says the company has enough cash to fulfill its "commercial obligations." No further details were offered.

The company did not immediately respond to a request for more information.

The ban "will also cause damages to all partners of ZTE including a large number of U.S. companies," ZTE's public filing states.

ZTE relies on US firms for key smartphone components, including microchips from Qualcomm and glass from Corning.

Those firms did not immediately respond to requests for comment Wednesday.

-CNN's Julia Horowitz contributed to this report.