AAPL Stock: 117.81 ( -0.22 )

Printed from

ZTE probed by FBI, announces profits could drop 80 percent

updated 06:37 pm EDT, Fri July 13, 2012

Iran sales, currency worries top ZTE concerns

Twin reports today brought a wave of bad news for ZTE, China's second-largest telecom equipment maker. Reuters reports that the company has issued a warning forecasting a drastic drop in profits for the first half of this year. Meanwhile, BBC News has discovered that the Chinese company is currently under investigation by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation over alleged shipments of embargoed equipment to Iran.

For the first half of this year, ZTE's profits are expected to drop as much as 80 percent. This is due in large part to the lower gross margins the company is securing selling low-end handsets primarily to the prepaid segment of the mobile market. Foreign currency losses also play a role in ZTE's profit loss, as the debt crisis in the euro zone has trimmed the income bonus the company gets from selling phones in Europe.

ZTE's profit woes are in some manner indicative of larger trends in the Chinese economy. As the economic downturn has lowered spending in developed consumer economies, China has found itself with a massive manufacturing base but fewer customers for whom to manufacture. Other Chinese companies have also recently issued profit warnings, as the global slowdown appears to have finally come to affect the world's second largest economy.

In the United States, the FBI is investigating ZTE over allegations that the company sold banned computer gear to Iran. ZTE is said to have sold servers from IBM, switches from Cisco, and a host of other materials to Telecommunication Company of Iran, which is controlled in part by the Iranian regime.

ZTE has continually maintained its innocence in the matter, claiming at first that it would curtail its business with Iran and later that it would no longer seek new customers in the country. ZTE eventually abandoned multiple sales arrangements with the country.

The US Department of Commerce is probing ZTE over these same allegations.

by MacNN Staff




Login Here

Not a member of the MacNN forums? Register now for free.


Network Headlines

Follow us on Facebook


Most Popular


Recent Reviews

Ultimate Ears Megaboom Bluetooth Speaker

Ultimate Ears (now owned by Logitech) has found great success in the marketplace with its "Boom" series of Bluetooth speakers, a mod ...

Kinivo URBN Premium Bluetooth Headphones

We love music, and we're willing to bet that you do, too. If you're like us, you probably spend a good portion of your time wearing ...

Jamstik+ MIDI Controller

For a long time the MIDI world has been dominated by keyboard-inspired controllers. Times are changing however, and we are slowly star ...


Most Commented