MediaTek given go-ahead by Taiwan government to trade with ZTE as latter files for suspension of US trade ban
ZTE's battle with the US government is well-documented. The Chinese company was fined a massive US$1 billion back in 2016 and, just a few weeks ago, was banned from trading with US companies. This trade ban has ensured that ZTE will not be able to use Qualcomm's Snapdragon chips on its future devices.
While the company will not be able to use Snapdragon SoCs, it still has the option of Samsung's Exynos and MediaTek's chips—Huawei announced its decision to keep its Kirin SoCs exclusive a while back. It's looking more likely that ZTE will turn towards MediaTek, though, as the semiconductor company has been given the go-ahead by the Taiwan government.
This comes after the Taiwan government put ZTE on a watchlist of sorts that ensured the company had to seek verification before doing business with any Taiwanese company. That decision was likely political, in any case, and more of an attempt by the Taiwanese government to show its support for the US government.
Meanwhile, ZTE has applied to the US Department of Commerce for a suspension of the seven-year trade ban that was imposed on the company a few weeks ago. While the company has options that will allow it produce smartphones—the aforementioned MediaTek comes to mind—the trade ban could very well kill off its smartphone division
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