Visitors are seen at a booth of Chinese telecom equipment maker ZTE Corp at an expo in Beijing, China, September 27, 2017. REUTERS/Stringer
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SHANGHAI/BEIJING: A move by the United States to ban American firms from selling components to the Chinese telecom equipment-maker ZTE Corp. will also hit a target closer to home: Qualcomm Inc., a U.S. company that is a major supplier of chips for ZTE's phones. The U.S. Department of Commerce slapped a seven-year ban on sales to ZTE Monday for breaking terms of an agreement reached last year after it was caught illegally shipping goods to Iran.Caught in the crossfire is Qualcomm, whose products account for the lion's share of chips inside ZTE smartphones. The Chinese company shipped an estimated 46.4 million phones last year, according to IHS Markit.Tech consultancy Canalys estimates that a higher 65 percent of ZTE phones contain Qualcomm chips.It may, ironically, get hit by the ZTE issues more in the United States than in China.ZTE held 11.2 percent of the U.S. market last year, according to data from Canalys.
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