US companies barred from selling phone parts to China’s ZTE for seven years
In a hammer blow to many American companies manufacturing parts for smartphones and other telecoms equipment, the US Department of Commerce has banned native firms from selling to Chinese giant ZTE.
A massive producer of telecoms devices and network equipment, including smartphones for many leading brands, ZTE is a key customer for numerous US manufacturers, in some cases accounting for 25-30% of revenue.
The ruling was enforced after ZTE was found guilty of illegally selling goods into Iran and North Korea, breaking an agreement it struck with the American government.
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The Chinese firm has already paid out $890mn in fines and could face another $300mn penalty. ZTE also agreed to sack four senior employees linked to the scandal.
Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said: “ZTE made false statements to the US Government when they were originally caught and put on the Entity List, made false statements during the reprieve it was given, and made false statements again during its probation.
“ZTE misled the Department of Commerce. Instead of reprimanding ZTE staff and senior management, ZTE rewarded them. This egregious behavior cannot be ignored.”
Last month ZTE recorded reported 2017 revenue of $17.33bn in 2017, a 7.5% jump on the previous year.
Away from its core device manufacturing, the company says it is devoting itself to emerging technologies such as the internet of things, chips, cloud computing, and big data.
SAP Whitepaper: Advantages of Intelligent Assets
A core pillar in SAP’s Industry 4.0 strategy, Intelligent Assets equip organisations to reduce downtime, empower employees and increase efficiencies across industrial equipment and manufacturing units.
In a whitepaper produced in partnership between SAP and BizClik Media Group, Rachel Romanoski, Solutions Manager, Digital Assets, SAP, dispels some of the myths surrounding asset intelligent, and shares insight into how even small investment in asset intelligence can pay dividends in minimising cost leakage and realising an asset’s potential.
As with all innovations, the ceiling for Intelligent Assets is as high as an organisation can dream, afford and implement. But Romanoski says that just a little intelligence can go a long way: “Oftentimes people think Intelligent Assets need to be the latest and greatest cutting-edge technology. They can be super advanced, such as leveraging physics-based engineering simulations to forecast potential failures, and help mitigate them. But it could be as simple as a temperature reading. You can pull a lot of simple information from most equipment, and by enhancing that data through ancillary solutions and digital capabilities, you can create that Intelligent Asset.”
One of the most immediate benefits is reducing or, in some cases, eliminating unplanned downtime. Equipment failure is one of the most common causes of disruption and can cause chaos throughout the supply chain.
“The true power of the Intelligent Asset is in changing the basic, reactive emergency work or time-based, planned maintenance and being more prescriptive and tailored to that specific asset and use case,” Romanoski says. “Ultimately, you can reduce the unplanned events that often carry a big price tag.”
"Oftentimes people think Intelligent Assets need to be the latest and greatest cutting-edge technology... But it could be as simple as a temperature reading"
Other financial benefits include stemming cost leakage and “sweating assets” to the full potential. “Maybe you can consider the lifecycle of the asset and understand whether you can push it a little bit further,” Romanoski explains. “It might be that the best course of action for a low-cost item is to run it to failure. Having this information that we collect over time empowers those people to make those better decisions, but also has a trickle down effect to building resiliency and efficiency into the entire supply chain.”
To read the full report, including insight from Intelligent Assets, Intelligent Factories, Empowered People, and exclusive insight from Dominik Metzger, the lead on SAP’s Industry 4.0 programme, CLICK HERE.