The announcement by the fourth-largest Chinese smartphone maker comes amid an escalating trade battle between the United States and China.
Last month, the Commerce Department barred U.S. firms from exporting parts to the Chinese smartphone company for seven years, saying that ZTE had violated a settlement of criminal and civil charges for making illegal shipments to North Korea and Iran.
Starved of crucial American microchips, the company was left teetering. ZTE said in an announcement last week that “the major operating activities of the company have ceased.” ZTE added that the company continues to communicate with the U.S. government with the goal of modifying or reversing the order. But investors were left without a definitive road map of the company's future, according to the statement.
ZTE did not respond to requests for comment.
The suspension of ZTE's operations follows several recent actions by the U.S. government that hindered the company's business prospects. The Defense Department last month ordered military exchanges to end the sale of ZTE phones on U.S. bases. And the Federal Communications Commission has taken steps to ban federal funds from being spent on mobile equipment made by firms that pose a national security threat to U.S. communication networks. ZTE was mentioned in the FCC’s proposal in a section detailing the federal government's concerns about foreign tech companies.
Timely, incisive articles delivered directly to your inbox.