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ZTE back in the US after trade ban with Visible R2

The ZTE Visible R2 might be modest, but it is lucky to exist at all. (Source: Visible)
The ZTE Visible R2 might be modest, but it is lucky to exist at all. (Source: Visible)
Chinese smartphone maker ZTE has made a quiet re-entry into the US market after suffering a potentially terminal trade ban for violating US trade sanctions in place against Iran and North Korea. The new ZTE Visible R2 is a modest device, but one that could potentially have never existed if it weren't for US president Donald Trump stepping in to save it.

Chinese smartphone maker ZTE has made a low-profile comeback to the US market after suffering a trade ban for violating US economic sanctions against Iran and North Korea. The company was found guilty of selling its devices to the two international pariahs which, crucially, contained US made or designed components including chips made by Qualcomm. However, US president Donald Trump controversially intervened overturning the ban after Chinese president Xi Jinping personally contacted Trump in a move that saved the company from certain oblivion.

The new phone has found its way on to Verizon’s low-budget mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) Visible. The Visible R2 (effectively a rebrand of the ZTE A0722) has modest specs, but is inline with what you’d expect for a US$99 device. It centers on a 5.4-inch LCD display with an 18:9 ratio and is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400. Storage is limited to just 16GB while it has a 13MP rear camera that actually shoots in HDR. It ships with Android 8 Oreo out of the box.

ZTE’s comeback is also notable given the pressure that the US administration has placed on its Chinese counterpart Huawei. Although not hit with a trade ban, Huawei has stopped selling its smartphones in the lucrative US market after being accused of spying for the Chinese government. In Huawei’s case, its US woes haven’t stopped it from overtaking Apple in smartphone sales. ZTE, however, is just happy to still be breathing.

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2019 02 > ZTE back in the US after trade ban with Visible R2
Sanjiv Sathiah, 2019-02- 4 (Update: 2019-02- 4)
Sanjiv Sathiah
Sanjiv Sathiah - News Editor
I have been tech-obsessed from the time my father introduced me to my first computer, an Apple ][. Since then, I have grown to enjoy exploring and experimenting with any computing platform that I can get my hands on – I am the definitive early adopter! I have always been interested in how we can use technology to shape and improve our lives, most recently using it to record, mix and master my debut record, Acuity – Nature | Nurture out now on Spotify.