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charlesarthur : zte   24

Congress to leave Trump’s deal with China’s ZTE untouched • Bloomberg
Jenny Leonard and Erik Wasson:
<p>Negotiators from the Senate and House of Representatives late Thursday agreed to abandon efforts to reinstate harsher sanctions against the Chinese telecommunications-equipment maker as part of the defense policy bill, the people said. Both chambers are expected to vote on the National Defense Authorization Act next week.

Draft language advanced in the House earlier this year focused on a procurement ban for ZTE products, whereas the Senate approved language that would reinstate the sales ban for US companies to sell to ZTE. The White House strongly opposed any efforts by Congress to block its deal for ZTE to resume business.

The Trump administration in April announced a seven-year ban on US exports to ZTE after it said the company violated sanctions agreements by selling American technology to Iran and North Korea. The move forced ZTE to announce it was shutting down.

Trump reversed course in May, saying he was reconsidering penalties on ZTE as a personal favor to Chinese President Xi Jinping. Later that month, his administration announced it would allow the company to stay in business after paying a new fine, changing its management and providing “high-level security guarantees.”

Following through on the promise, the Commerce Department last week lifted a ban on American firms selling products to ZTE after the company paid the final tranche of a $1.4bn penalty by placing $400m in escrow at a US bank. Congresspeople from both parties had blasted the Trump administration for helping ZTE.</p>


This is the sort of revival to make Lazarus whistle in admiration.
zte  china  america  trump 
july 2018 by charlesarthur
US ban on China’s ZTE forces telecoms to rethink business: sources • Reuters
Eric Auchard:
<p>[Russian and emerging markets carrier] Veon was especially hard hit, suffering launch delays at its Italian joint venture and in Ukraine, near network outages in Bangladesh, and lesser disruptions at its Pakistan operations, sources at the Amsterdam-based operator told Reuters. “Veon has decided to second source everything,” a person familiar with the strategy shift at Veon said of moves to reduce dependence on any one supplier of network gear.

“We don’t want the company to be in the same position we were in when the U.S. (ban on ZTE) came out: It caused massive problems in three or four of our markets,” the source said.

Perhaps the biggest setback was for Italian mobile operator Wind Tre, which had a €1bn ($1.17bn) contract with ZTE to upgrade radio equipment.

The ban forced ZTE to abandon more than half of the remainder of the contract, and Wind Tre will use gear from network supplier Ericsson instead, sources told Reuters.

The original deal had marked ZTE’s biggest breakthrough into the European market, which has been dominated by regional players such as Ericsson of Sweden and Nokia of Finland.</p>


It still feels as though Trump let ZTE off the hook too easily. What has China offered, exactly?
zte  us  networks 
july 2018 by charlesarthur
US begins lifting ban on ZTE • The Verge
Jacob Kastrenakes:
<p>The US Commerce Department has temporarily lifted a portion of the ban on ZTE that all-but shut down the company almost three months ago. After paying a $1bn fine, ZTE has been authorized by the United States to continue supporting much of its already deployed equipment and consumer devices. This largely seems designed to keep infrastructure up and running and allow ZTE to deliver security patches to its phones (and other products).

The eased restrictions are temporary, only lasting until August 1st. It’s not stated what will happen after that point, but Bloomberg reports that ZTE is expected to be in full compliance with the agreement it made with the US government by then, meaning the ban may be fully lifted. ZTE initially received the ban in April as repercussion for failing to follow through with penalties it received for violating US sanctions to Iran and North Korea.

ZTE has largely been dormant since being hit with a trade ban over two months ago, since it’s been unable to procure necessary parts and software needed to operate its business and sell products. The Commerce Department’s order should allow ZTE to at least partially resume operations, though it appears to be narrowly targeted to really only allow for maintenance and the benefit of customers, and not deployment of new products. By and large, the trade ban is still in place.</p>


With the quarter having just finished, will be interesting to see which company or companies picked up ZTE's missed share of the smartphone market when IDC, Counterpoint and the rest report their numbers.
zte  band 
july 2018 by charlesarthur
ZTE, US suppliers shares tank after Senate puts Trump reprieve in doubt • Reuters
Sijia Jiang:
<p>The 85-10 bipartisan vote marked one of the few times the Republican-led Senate has veered from White House policy and came on the same day that US President Donald Trump threatened to impose a 10% tariff on $200bn of Chinese goods, escalating tensions between the world’s two biggest economies.

Trump is expected to lobby hard against the amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), and before it can become law the bill must be reconciled with one passed by the US House of Representatives that does not include the amendment.

Any compromise measure must then be passed by both chambers and signed into law by Trump, a series of hurdles that has Asia-based analysts predicting ZTE will get eventually get its reprieve.

“The NDAA is not really a reversal of the ZTE deal, but will in all probability prolong the ban-lifting process for ZTE,” said Nikhil Batra, a senior research manager with industry consultancy IDC.

ZTE’s Hong Kong-listed shares tumbled as much as 27% to HK$9.56, their lowest level in nearly two years, before ending the day down 25%.</p>


Trump is going to be made to sweat for his promise to lift ZTE out of the grave. Plenty of road left in this tale.
trump  zte 
june 2018 by charlesarthur
Senators move to sink Trump’s ZTE deal • WSJ
Siobhan Hughes:
<p>In a rare rebuke of President Donald Trump, Republican Senate leaders set up a vote for this week that would undo the White House deal to revive Chinese telecommunications company ZTE Corp.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross was on Capitol Hill late Monday to lobby against the move. But Democratic and Republican lawmakers said that an agreement had been reached to wrap into the National Defense Authorization Act an amendment that would ban ZTE from buying components from U.S. suppliers. The Commerce Department in mid-April had banned exports to the company as punishment for breaking a settlement to resolve sanctions-busting sales to North Korea and Iran.

In private meetings with Republicans last week, the president argued in favor of the agreement, which saved ZTE by allowing the Chinese company to resume buying components from U.S. suppliers.

The Trump administration agreed to lift the ban as part of a larger deal in which ZTE would pay a $1 billion fine and allow U.S. enforcement officers inside the company to monitor its actions. Cutting off access to U.S. components was essentially a death knell for the company.</p>


The twists! The turns! Also: this "rebuke" of Trump is so rare it must have come in riding a unicorn with a dodo on its head.
zte  trump 
june 2018 by charlesarthur
ZTE’s near-collapse may be China’s Sputnik moment • NY Times
Li Yuan, suggesting that ZTE's near-death experience will affect China as the sight of Sputnik overhead did America, presaging a technological surge:
<p>China offers a competing vision to those who see technology as a global, liberating force. Its robust online culture coexists with stringent censorship. China forcefully espouses a view of sovereignty in the cyber realm that sees a greater degree of government control than the internet’s creators ever envisioned — a view that doesn’t seem as far-fetched as it once did, as politicians around the world grapple with the unintended consequences of technology.

Before we get to that future, however, the ZTE incident offers a glimpse of where China stands now.

ZTE’s near-collapse has shaken tech entrepreneurs, investors and ordinary Chinese people alike. In social media chat groups, at dinner tables, at industry conferences, terms like “semiconductors” and “fundamental scientific research” have become buzzwords. My novelist, economist and philosophy professor friends all ask me: How far behind is China’s microchip industry? How long will it take us to catch up with the United States? (Some ask even more basic questions, like: What’s a microchip?)

“The recent ZTE incident made us see clearly that no matter how advanced our mobile payment is, without mobile devices, without microchips and operating systems, we can’t compete competently,” Pony Ma, chief executive of the Chinese internet giant Tencent Holdings said last month at a science forum.

China feels new urgency to increase its technological abilities. Its current push — called Made in China 2025 — lies at the root of worsening trade relations between the United States and China. But the problems with ZTE, which had $17bn in revenue in 2017, will only spur Chinese leaders to push ahead.</p>
Zte  china 
june 2018 by charlesarthur
Chinese phone maker ZTE saved from brink after deal with US • Reuters
Karen Freifeld:
<p>The agreement comes as US President Donald Trump seeks trade concessions from China and negotiations continue to avoid a trade war between the world’s two largest economies.

Shares of US companies that do business with ZTE rose on Thursday.

US lawmakers immediately attacked the agreement, citing intelligence warnings that ZTE poses a national security threat.

ZTE pleaded guilty last year to conspiring to evade US embargoes by selling US equipment to Iran. The ban on buying US parts was imposed in April after the company lied about disciplining some executives responsible for the violations. ZTE then ceased major operations.

Under the deal, ZTE will change its board and management within 30 days, pay a $1bn fine and put an additional $400m in escrow. The deal also includes a new 10-year ban that is suspended unless there are future violations.</p>


So one has to think that the US trade delegation squeezed some substantial compromise from China to bring ZTE back from the dead like this. A billion dollars isn't material in the broader scheme of things; the US Treasury can print that any time it likes.

All Trump's tweets about ZTE and his apparent refusal to listen to Congress over this has been an act while the broader deal - of which ZTE is just an element - gets hammered out. What if, for example, China was told to.. rein in its solar industry a little?
trump  zte  china 
june 2018 by charlesarthur
Embattled Chinese telecom giant ZTE beefs up lobbying muscle • Daily Beast
Lachlan Markay:
<p>ZTE Corporation struck a contract with D.C. lobbying and public relations powerhouse Mercury Public Affairs on May 14, a day after Trump tweeted that he would consider lifting the penalties that had been imposed on the company as punishment for its violation of sanctions against Iran and North Korea.

The Mercury consultant working on the account is Bryan Lanza, a veteran of the Trump 2016 presidential campaign. Less than two weeks after Lanza’s work began, the Trump administration announced that it had reached a tentative deal to ease those penalties, a move criticized by lawmakers of both parties.

Many factors likely contributed to the resolution of the ZTE penalties, including efforts to leverage ongoing trade negotiations with China. But the swiftness of the Trump administration’s efforts to reach an agreement with the company—and the equally swift decision of that company to bring on a prominent Trumpworld figure—underscores the new world of influence peddling in Washington D.C. An infamously impulsive president, prone to bucking political norms and changing legislative priorities, has compelled companies to turn to K Street just to keep up.

Former aides to any president are a particularly lucrative draw in DC’s influence industry. And true to form, companies looking to win favor with President Trump have frequently turned to those he once employed. Lanza remains close with the White House and occasionally speaks with the president himself.

The Trump administration plan is a lifeline for ZTE. The Commerce Department’s decision to ban the use of American-manufactured parts in ZTE products, chiefly smartphones, prompted the company to announce that it would be forced to shut down global operations absent U.S. government relief.</p>

So it's all grace and favour again. Trump's venality and hypocrisy never ceases to dismay, but it's worth citing from time to time.
Zte  lobbying  trump 
june 2018 by charlesarthur
Tencent chairman pledges to advance China chip industry after ZTE 'wake-up' call: reports • Reuters
Sijia Jiang:
<p>Tencent is looking into ways it could help advance China’s domestic chip industry, which could include leveraging its huge data demand to urge domestic chip suppliers to come up with better solutions, or using its WeChat platform to support application developments based on Chinese chips, [Pony] Ma said.

“It would probably be better if we could get in to support semiconductor R&D, but that is perhaps admittedly not our strong suit and may need the help of others in the supply chain.”

China has been looking to accelerate plans to develop its semiconductor market to reduce its heavy reliance on imports and has invited overseas investors to invest in the country’s top state-backed chip fund.</p>
zte  china 
may 2018 by charlesarthur
ZTE estimates at least $3bn in losses from US ban • Bloomberg
<p>ZTE Corp. is estimating losses of at least 20bn yuan ($3.1bn) from a US technology ban that’s halted major operations as clients pull out of deals and expenses mount, people familiar with the matter said.

The telecoms gear and smartphone maker however is hopeful of striking a deal soon and already has a plan in place - dubbed “T0” - to swing idled factories into action within hours once Washington agrees to lift its seven-year moratorium on purchases of American chips and components, said the people, who asked not to be identified talking about private negotiations. The company declined to comment.

Shenzhen, China-based ZTE depends on US components, such as chips from Qualcomm, to build its smartphones and networking gear. The ban, for breaching terms of a settlement over sanction-breaking sales to Iran, has all but mothballed China’s second-largest telecoms gear maker and become entangled in a trade dispute between the world’s two largest economies. On Tuesday, President Donald Trump said he’s reconsidering US penalties as a favor to Chinese President Xi Jinping and may instead fine the company more than $1bn.

The US action has spooked potential clients during the crucial first-half IT spending season and even prompted some to renege on agreed deals, the people said. ZTE’s shelling out an estimated 80m to 100m yuan in daily operational expenses alone while most of its 75,000 employees sit idle, the people said.</p>


Meanwhile, the US Congress has <a href="https://www.mediaite.com/online/senate-committee-votes-overwhelmingly-to-block-trumps-plans-to-revive-chinese-telecom-company-zte/">blocked any move</a> to let ZTE back in. The limbo continues; the losses so far wipe out ZTE's net income over the past 12 years.
zte  us  trump 
may 2018 by charlesarthur
Trump denies reaching deal with China on ZTE • The New York Times
Ana Swanson, Jim Tankersley and Raymond Zhong:
<p>The fate of ZTE has quickly become a key sticking point in negotiations with China, with lawmakers and others concerned that the administration would ease restrictions on the company after Mr. Trump’s suggestion in a Twitter message on May 13 that he was working with China’s president, Xi Jinping, to give ZTE “a way to get back into business, fast.”

“Too many jobs in China lost. Commerce Department has been instructed to get it done!” Mr. Trump added in the tweet.

That statement, and reports that the administration had discussed easing the penalties during a visit by Chinese trade negotiators last week, have sparked a backlash from lawmakers across the political spectrum. On Tuesday, senators took steps to limit Mr. Trump’s ability to ease restrictions on ZTE, voting to approve an amendment to pending legislation that would block the president from pardoning the company without first confirming to Congress that it was no longer violating the law.

In a 23-2 vote, lawmakers approved the amendment, which will now be included in a bill related to foreign investment controls that was offered by Senator Chris Van Hollen, Democrat of Maryland. The amendment would require the president to certify that the company was no longer violating United States law, had not done so for a year and was fully cooperating with investigators before changing its penalties. The bill is expected to come to a vote this summer.

Senator Marco Rubio, a Florida Republican, blasted the idea of a deal with ZTE, saying on Twitter: “Here is #ZTE timeline: Violated U.S. sanction laws & got caught lying & covering up. Paid $1billion fine & agreed to discipline employees. But then lied again & instead of discipline gave those employees bonuses. Now we are offering same deal of fine & employee discipline?”</p>


Thought exercise: same situation, but Obama (or Clinton) is president, and is negotiating with China about trade, including ZTE. What would s/he do differently? I suspect much would be the same - except for the tweets, which undermine the US's position. Even so, it's contradictory: ZTE broke sanctions on Iran. Which Trump doesn't like.
trump  zte 
may 2018 by charlesarthur
Trump links ZTE rescue to larger trade talks with China, contradicting top aides • The Washington Post
Damian Paletta:
<p>President Trump on Wednesday said for the first time that he would allow a rescue of embattled Chinese telecommunications company ZTE only if China agrees to a range of trade concessions, contradicting several of his top advisers who had said that the firm would be dealt with separately.

Trump’s comments, made in morning Twitter posts, mark the most direct linkage he has made between helping ZTE and extracting concessions from Chinese leaders on trade.

But the Twitter posts also included statements that appear at odds with what he or his aides had asserted in recent days about ZTE and the status of trade talks with China.

The biggest discrepancy came over whether ZTE would be dealt with individually or as part of a larger trade package with China.

“Nothing has happened with ZTE except as it pertains to the larger trade deal,” Trump wrote Wednesday in posts that also criticized CNN and The Washington Post for their coverage of the issue.</p>


Their coverage of the issue, where they'd been trying to work out what on earth his strategy was, partly based on his tweets, which seemed conciliatory. And of course from talking to his Commerce Secretary and others. The White House doesn't know what it's doing from room to room.
zte  china  trump 
may 2018 by charlesarthur
Trump's ZTE reversal flouts warnings from top national security officials • The Washington Post
Derek Hawkins:
<p>The head of the FBI and other intelligence chiefs in congressional testimony this year urged American citizens to steer clear of products from ZTE and its Chinese rival Huawei. And just two weeks ago, the Pentagon banned the companies’ phones from being sold on military bases, saying they “may pose an unacceptable risk to Department's personnel, information and mission.”

As my colleagues Tony Romm, Damian Paletta and Steven Mufson report, the Commerce Department last month said it would bar U.S. firms for seven years from exporting critical microchips and other parts to ZTE, as punishment for violating a sanctions settlement over illegal shipments to Iran and North Korea. On Wednesday, ZTE said it would shut down its global business but was “actively communicating with the relevant U.S. government departments in order to facilitate the [order’s] modification or reversal.”

Trump appeared receptive to the idea, sending shockwaves through the national security establishment by tweeting Sunday that he and Chinese President Xi Jinping were <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-switch/wp/2018/05/13/trump-pledges-to-help-chinese-phone-maker-zte-get-back-into-business/?utm_term=.8997db285aae">working to give ZTE “a way back into business, fast"</a>.

“It's striking that he is overruling the judgment of his own national security apparatus in order to help a Chinese company succeed,” Abraham Denmark, director of the Asia Program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, told me. “There’s often tension between economic issues and national security issues, and this tweet seems to suggest in this case the economic issues won out.”

Adam Segal, director of the Digital and Cyberspace Policy Program at the Council on Foreign Relations, called Trump’s instruction to his Commerce Department to assist ZTE “highly unusual, given the intelligence community has given several unambiguous warnings about using ZTE and Huawei products.”</p>


Everyone is puzzled as hell about this. ZTE was caught bang to rights evading a US ban on selling telecoms equipment to Iran - even after it was warned not to. Iran is a country that Trump, apparently, doesn't like anyone doing business with, so the Iran nuclear deal got ripped up. ZTE relies on US suppliers, but they were banned from selling to ZTE.

So why help ZTE? One suggestion: China has made that conditional if Trump wants its help in the North Korea talks. Another suggestion: a Chinese state-owned construction firm <a href="http://www.scmp.com/news/asia/southeast-asia/article/2145808/trump-indonesia-project-latest-stop-chinas-belt-and-road">has put up to $500m into an Indonesian project with Trump-brand buildings</a>. When the White House (deputy) spokesman was asked if the latter didn't violate the US's emoluments (foreign bribes) rules, he said you'd have to ask the Trump Organisation.

So the rules just don't apply any more. Want to trade with Iran? Depends what your country has over Trump. (Thanks Mark C for the Indonesia link.)
zte  trump 
may 2018 by charlesarthur
Chinese tech giant on brink of collapse in new US cold war • The New York Times
Raymond Zhong:
<p>One of China’s most internationally successful technology suppliers, with about $17 billion in annual revenue, ZTE is facing a death sentence. The Commerce Department has blocked its access to American-made components until 2025, saying the company failed to punish employees who violated trade controls against Iran and North Korea.

American microchips power ZTE’s wireless stations. American optical components go into its optical fiber networks. Google’s Android operating system runs its smartphones. As the Trump administration threatens a trade war to stymie China’s plans for promoting advanced industries, the firm’s travails are proving an apt demonstration, for China’s leaders, of exactly why the country needs to be more self-sufficient in technology.

President Xi Jinping recently issued a rousing call to action, according to the state news agency Xinhua.

“By tightening our belts and gritting our teeth, we built ‘two bombs and one satellite,’” Mr. Xi said, referring to a Mao-era weapons development program. “This was because we made best use of the socialist system — we concentrated our efforts to get great things done. The next step is to do the same with science and technology. We must cast away false hopes and rely on ourselves.”

ZTE’s moment of crisis, if it leads to the company’s collapse, could also show how the tech cold war might ripple around the world.

The company has 75,000 employees and does business in more than 160 countries. It is the No. 4 smartphone vendor in the United States. And its telecommunications gear supports the digital backbone of a great swath of the developing world.</p>


Watching ZTE go down is like watching the death of the Titanic. Just a little tilt, and then more and more... but China's reaction is going to make a big difference. If China becomes self-sufficient in hardware, the balance of power will change dramatically.
zte  us  china 
may 2018 by charlesarthur
China's ZTE Corp says main business operations cease due to US ban • Reuters
Sijia Jiang:
<p>ZTE, China’s second biggest telecom equipment maker, was hit last month with a ban from Washington forbidding US firms to supply it with components and technology after it was found to have violated US export restrictions.

“As a result of the Denial Order, the major operating activities of the company have ceased,” ZTE said in the filing.

“As of now, the company maintains sufficient cash and strictly adheres to its commercial obligations subject to compliance with laws and regulations,” it said.

ZTE said it was actively communicating with the US government “in order to facilitate the modification or reversal of the Denial Order by the US government and forge a positive outcome in the development of matters.”

The ban that threatens to cut off ZTE’s supply chain came amid heightened tension over a possible US-China trade war. The Chinese government raised the issue of ZTE last week with a visiting US trade delegation.

ZTE said on Sunday it had submitted a request to the US Commerce Department for the suspension of the ban.</p>


That's colossal. But without access to American(-owned) component sources, ZTE was stuffed.

No doubt: this is going to make the Chinese government determined to secure its own component companies. It won't like having a big player like this liable to shutdown by American fiat. (ZTE was banned for selling equipment to Iran when sanctions were in place.)

Next question being, is Huawei going to be affected somehow?
zte  smartphone  huawei  china 
may 2018 by charlesarthur
Pentagon orders stores on military bases to remove Huawei, ZTE phones • WSJ
Stu Woo and Gordon Lubold:
<p>The Pentagon is moving to halt the sale of phones made by Huawei Technologies and ZTE in retail outlets on US military bases around the world, citing potential security threats they say the devices could pose.

The move intensifies a squeeze the Trump administration has put on the two Chinese makers of telecommunications gear and mobile devices. Washington officials have said Beijing could order Chinese manufacturers to hack into products they make to spy or disable communications. Huawei and ZTE have said that would never happen.

Huawei is the world’s third-largest smartphone maker, behind Apple and Samsung Electronics, but it sells very few devices stateside. ZTE, however, is the fourth-largest seller of phones in the US, with a 9.5% share of units shipped, according to research firm IDC.

“Huawei and ZTE devices may pose an unacceptable risk to the department’s personnel, information and mission,“ said Army Maj. Dave Eastburn, a Pentagon spokesman, in a statement. “In light of this information, it was not prudent for the department’s exchanges to continue selling them.” He was referring to the retail outlets at or near military installations in the US and overseas that cater to American soldiers and sailors. Only 2,400 Huawei and ZTE phones were sold at those outlets last year, he said.</p>


Such drama, until that last sentence. It's more about the perception on this. However, the earlier US embargo on ZTE in particular is going to hurt it: 9.5% of the US market is a big slice to lose (as seems likely).
zte  huawei  military 
may 2018 by charlesarthur
UK and US move on Chinese group, citing national security • FT
Nic Fildes, Shawn Donnan and Pan Kwan Yuk:
<p>Britain and the US have moved against one of China’s largest telecoms equipment makers, adding to a growing list of restrictions imposed by western governments on Chinese companies on national security grounds.

The measures taken against ZTE Corp, which cuts it off from US suppliers and bars it entirely from doing business in the UK, comes amid a particularly aggressive move by the Trump administration, which has already used the Committee on Foreign Investment in the US, a secretive national security body, to block or force changes to several Chinese-linked deals.

It also is likely to add to mounting economic tension between Washington and Beijing, which are locked in a rhetorical trade war that threatens to impose tariffs on $150bn in bilateral trade.

US commerce department officials insisted the move was not related to other actions taken in recent weeks by the White House, noting ZTE’s violations were first investigated by the Obama administration. But experts said the sanctions were part of a growing anti-China backlash not only in London and Washington, but also Germany, Australia and Canada.

“Things are pretty rocky right now,” said Matthew Goodman, an expert on US-Asian economic ties at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.</p>

The US said ZTE had supplied Iran and North Korea with equipment; the UK says ZTE's ownership by the Chinese government raises security concerns.

While it will be able to use open-source Android (AOSP), ZTE is going to be stuffed in trying to sell handsets outside China. It won't be able to get Google's Play Store or other apps. ZTE was, until now, the fourth-biggest phone vendor in the US (says analyst Avi Greengart).

And the network equipment business, a far more lucrative space, is in effect shot in two gigantic markets. ZTE is toast.
zte  us  uk  iran 
april 2018 by charlesarthur
ZTE Axon M review: double trouble - The Verge
Chaim Gartenberg on ZTE's phone which gives you two side-by-side portrait screens, so basically a small Android tablet with a fold (or you can run two phone apps side-by-side):
<p>The Axon M isn’t the first attempt at a dual-screen Android phone. The benefit of time and more powerful hardware means that the Axon M can actually follow through on some of the promises, like running multiple apps and full-screen integration, that precursors like the Kyocera Echo simply weren’t able to do.

But if the Axon M is the first dual-screen phone that can actually execute the idea of a two-screened device, using it in practice has me doubting whether the idea actually has practical merit. It is cool, on a purely technical level, to be able to unfold your phone and run a giant version of Alto’s Adventure or two apps side by side. But between the hacked-together software execution and the overall lack of productive application for it, it’s hard to look at the Axon M as anything more than a fun gimmick. And with the hefty $725 price tag and a plethora of more powerful, better-designed, and cheaper Android flagships out there, it’s probably worth sticking to one screen for now.</p>
zte  axon  dualscreen 
november 2017 by charlesarthur
ZTE to pay $892m to US, plead guilty in Iran sanctions probe • WSJ
Aruna Viswanatha, Eva Dou and Kate O’keeffe:
<p>Chinese telecommunications giant ZTE Corp. has agreed to pay $892m and plead guilty to violating U.S. sanctions on Iran and obstructing a federal investigation, ending a five-year probe that has raised trade tensions between the U.S. and China.

The penalties, among the largest ever in a sanctions case, were imposed on ZTE for a six-year-long plan to obtain technology products from the U.S., incorporate them into ZTE equipment and ultimately ship the equipment to Iran, U.S. officials said.

Still, the company avoided a more devastating outcome: a supply cutoff of U.S. components, which the Commerce Department slapped on ZTE in March 2016, prompting the company to come forward to negotiate the eventual settlement, according to U.S. authorities. The Commerce Department suspended the sanctions during the talks and, in conjunction with the settlement agreement, it will now move to fully remove them, officials said.</p>


Dodged a bullet there.
zte  fine 
march 2017 by charlesarthur
ZTE cancels Kickstarter campaign for Project CSX “Hawkeye” phone • AndroidAuthority
John Callaham:
<p>ZTE started Project CSX as a way to get its fans to help them design a unique device. It held a contest in 2016 for people to submit concepts for new products, with the public voting for their favorite of the top five designs. The winning product idea was an Android smartphone that included eye-tracking technology and a self-adhesive case, so the phone could be used without actually touching the screen.

However, when the campaign actually began in early January, many people were not impressed by the hardware specs that were posted on the Kickstarter page. They included a 5.5-inch display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor, 3GB of RAM and 32GB of onboard storage. Some fans felt the specs were too low for a phone that was scheduled for a launch in September 2017 for the price of $199.

In their update today announcing the Kickstarter campaign cancellation, ZTE said this was not going to be the end for Project CSX. It stated it is “reevaluating the device” and changes to the phone “will be implemented on based on your feedback.” That includes improving the hardware specs and also pushing back the date of its release, which the company said is “still being finalized”.</p>


Raised 190 people donated $36,245 towards the $500,000 target. VR headsets for your cat do better.
zte  kickstarter 
february 2017 by charlesarthur
Forget 3D: holograms are coming to smartphones • TechRadar
Jamie Carter:
<p>Forget FaceTime – why not say hello with a hologram? Imagine making a holo-call on your phone, with a 3D image of the caller appearing to leap out at you from the phone screen.

"The basic idea of using hologram technology in a smartphone is that you would be able to project a 3D image into space at a certain short distance away from the device," says Waiman Lam, VP for global marketing at ZTE Mobile Devices, who told TechRadar that holo-phones are at the pre-research stage.</p>


Nope.
zte  hologram 
june 2016 by charlesarthur
Premium smartphones are booming » Bloomberg Gadfly
Tim Culpan:
<p>Exhibit A in the case for the high end is Huawei. A strong push for models such as the P8 meant that the average price of the Chinese company's phones climbed 17% last year, according to IDC. Unit shipments jumped 45%, with the premium segment accounting for a significantly larger proportion of the total.

Apple's average selling price rose more than 7% in calendar 2015, according to IDC data, with its shipment volume increasing 20%. The other major player to see gains from selling more-expensive phones was ZTE, with a 5.8% markup in price and a 20% jump in volumes. According to Counterpoint Research, the highest tier widened its share of total volume. So too did the bottom end, while the center got squeezed.

Given the gain for the cheapest models, it would be wrong to write off price cuts as a marketing strategy. Still, the price-demand dynamics for smartphones suggest that higher volumes driven by discounts may not translate to increased revenue (and will certainly squeeze profit per device). Whether you're a Beijing-based startup or a Cupertino-based behemoth, the end-goal ought to be boosting sales and not market share.

The experience last year of Apple, Huawei and ZTE suggests that smartphones may in fact be a Giffen good - a product for which demand increases as prices rise.</p>


Culpan also says that Samsung has seen a tripled demand for the S7 over the figures for the S6 last year, but I think that's an error - Counterpoint <a href="http://www.counterpointresearch.com/galaxys7sales1q2016">says it's up about 30%</a>. What also isn't revealed is what Huawei's and ZTE's ASPs were in 2014 or 2015. They might be up, but are they premium? Or is that effect principally from Apple's bigger, pricier sales?

It's certainly counterintuitive if premium really is booming. The <a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/toaster/v1/charts/27e5b6ae648143ca894f8a16bb5edd70.html">graphic accompanying the article</a>
apple  huawei  zte 
april 2016 by charlesarthur
In snub to Google, AT&T looks to sell alternative Android phone » The Information
Amir Efrati on AT&T's plan to sell a Cyanogen-based phone:
<p>Cyanogen wants to let any phone maker, wireless carrier or app developer integrate their services more deeply with its alternative form of Android, in ways that they can’t do with the official Google version. Microsoft, for instance, is integrating Skype, its Internet calling service, and Cortana, its virtual assistant, into Cyanogen. The end result is that people will be able access and interact with their Skype contacts directly from the phone’s built-in dialer app, and they will be able to summon apps like Spotify by speaking to Cortana. Such scenarios are not available on Google’s version of Android.

While Cyanogen can control many aspects of devices it powers, they all come preloaded with Google services like search, the Google Play app store and Google Maps (because Cyanogen knows that consumers need them). In exchange for having those Google services, the devices must comport with certain Google rules, such as displaying those apps prominently on the home screen. For its part, Cyanogen is able send messages to phone users to help them customize the devices so that integrations with non-Google apps will be more prominently displayed on, say, the home screen, instead of Google’s apps.</p>


So, basically, it's Just Another Skinned Google Android Phone. Ron Amadeo has a <a href="https://plus.google.com/+RonAmadeo/posts/AC69wowu3SC">succinct two-paragraph rant</a> on the oversell of Cyanogen.
google  android  zte 
march 2016 by charlesarthur
Huawei, with 30,000 patents in China, is preparing to sue Xiaomi >> Patently Apple
local first-generation smartphone manufacturer rivals in China such as Huawei and ZTE are now going after Xiaomi where they know they're weak: Patents. With Ericsson's success against Xiaomi in India, both Chinese rivals are now racing to file lawsuits. 

A Korean report tapping into industry sources stated that earlier this week Huawei and ZTE were known to be preparing to sue Xiaomi, OPPO, and Bubugao for infringement of their patent rights.

Earlier, Huawei and ZTE sent out a warning letter to these companies asking them to stop infringing on their patents and pay legitimate royalties. However, as they did not respond, Huawei and ZTE decided to take legal action against them.

An industry source added that "It was confirmed that China's second-generation smartphone manufacturers had been violating four to five patents related to communications technology, including WCDMA, which is used in 3G mobile communications."

Huawei and ZTE are strong patent holders, collecting more than 70 percent of relevant royalties in China's mobile phone market. Huawei has nearly 30,000 of the 39,000 mobile phone patents in China. It has also registered 7,000 patents this year alone.


Oh dear, it's all fun and games until someone loses an eye.
patents  xiaomi  huawei  china  zte 
december 2014 by charlesarthur

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