ZTE plans to launch one or more phones in the U.S. before the end of the year

ZTE plans to launch one or more phones in the U.S. before the end of the year
To say that this has been a tough year for ZTE would be an understatement. Blocked from the U.S. portion of its supply chain for weeks by the Commerce Department, it wasn't until the middle of July that things started returning to normal for the Chinese manufacturer. The company is the fourth largest smartphone manufacturer in the U.S. market, and plans on launching at least one new phone in the states before 2018 is over. That's the word from ZTE's VP of product marketing and strategy, Jeff Yee.

Yesterday, the company unveiled the ZTE Axon 9 Pro, a new flagship model with high-end specs. However, that handset will not be coming to the states. Yee wouldn't specify whether the new U.S. bound device will be a low-end or high-end model. He did say that the manufacturer will not sell new handsets through U.S. carriers, at least for the time being.

Turning to another important issue for ZTE in the U.S., the executive debunked talk that the company uses its phones to spy on American companies and businesses. As far back as 2012, Congress labeled ZTE and Huawei as threats to National Security, a claim repeated in May by Maryland Senator Chris Van Hollen. Last month, President Trump signed a bill that prevents the government and its employees from using phones, networking equipment, routers and other devices made by ZTE, Huawei and other China-based outfits. Yee says that ZTE devices do not send data to China.

ZTE just announced the biggest first-half loss in the company's history, thanks to the U.S. export ban. The firm reported operating revenue of $5.71 billion USD for the first six months of this year, a 27% drop year-over-year. For the first half of 2018, ZTE says its net loss will range from $1.02 billion USD to $1.32 billion USD. The company expects to return to the black for the current quarter.

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