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Politics

China reportedly asks US to lighten ZTE's 7-year ban

Due to a Commerce Department ban, ZTE has a lot of trouble getting crucial parts to make phones.

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The Chinese government has reportedly stepped in on ZTE's behalf.  

Josh Miller/CNET

The Chinese government has reportedly asked US officials to change the terms of its trade ban against ZTE.

The Commerce Department announced a major export ban to ZTE in April, alleging that the Chinese telecommunications giant lied about actions it would take after it plead guilty to illegally shipping US equipment to Iran and North Korea. The export ban prevents US companies from selling products and services to ZTE and lasts for seven years.

It would mean that ZTE's phones wouldn't have access to chips from Qualcomm, or speakers from Dolby. Chinese phone makers continue to get caught in political tensions and security concerns between the US and China. On Wednesday, the Department of Defense banned sale of ZTE and Huawei -- another Chinese phone company -- devices on US military bases, citing security threats. 

According to a Reuters report, China made the request to senior US officials while the two countries were in talks concerning a potential trade war. The Chinese officials would like the US to listen to ZTE's appeal over the ban, sources told Reuters.

ZTE and the Department of Commerce didn't respond to requests for comment.