ZTE Corp (中興通訊) is estimating losses of at least 20 billion yuan (US$3.1 billion) from a United States technology ban that has halted major operations as clients pull out of deals and expenses mount, people familiar with the matter said.
Shenzhen, China-based ZTE depends on United States components, such as chips from Qualcomm Inc, to build its smartphones and networking gear.
Negotiators from Washington and Beijing are looking to avoid a full-blown trade war between the world's top two economies.
Speaking at the White House, Trump said US technology companies have been hurt by an April Commerce Department decision that prohibits them from selling components to China's second-largest telecommunications equipment maker.
He said, there needed to be a different structure and citing difficulties such as verifying compliance to any deal.
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That unexpected reversal, the Journal explained the same day in its lead editorial, "undermines (Trump's) own policy (because) ZTE sold telecom equipment containing USA technology to five embargoed countries: Iran, Sudan, North Korea, Syria and Cuba".
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.
Republican Senator Marco Rubio said he thought China had gotten the upper hand in recent negotiations on trade and North Korea denuclearization.
However, Chinese government officials are undertaking negotiations on behalf of ZTE, and the company, which does not have much influence in the process, would have to accept the terms of any settlement reached between Beijing and Washington.
The US initially fined ZTE $1.19 million in March 2017 for violating sanctions against Iran and North Korea.
One sanctions expert questioned whether Trump has the legal authority to impose new fines on ZTE, which agreed past year to pay $1.19 billion, including $890 million in fines and penalties, and an additional penalty of $300 million that could still be imposed.