In the wake of ZTE announcing its major operating activities had ceased following a ban imposed by the US government, Australian mobile operator Telstra stopped selling operator-branded ZTE devices through its stores and partners.
The move comes after the US Commerce Department issued a denial order in April prohibiting US companies from selling components and software to ZTE.
Telstra said in a statement: “This was a difficult but necessary step given ZTE’s decision to cease major operating activities, and we apologise that this will result in a temporary reduction in device options for customers.”
The operator said it is working with device partners to source alternative models as quickly as possible. It pulled 19 smartphones and three mobile broadband devices made by ZTE from its stores.
Michele Garra, Telstra’s head of product innovation and strategy, said it is hopeful ZTE will be able to reach a resolution to this matter soon so it can recommence selling Telstra-branded ZTE devices.
“We will be contacting customers directly to let them know that there is no immediate impact to their phone or mobile broadband device arising from the issues with ZTE, and that they can continue to use it as usual. We will also assure them that should this change we will contact them to step them through their options.”
In ceasing operations, Reuters reported ZTE appears to have suspended its online stores on its own website and on Alibaba’s e-commerce platform. ZTE noted it is still working to find a resolution to the seven-year ban, but warned the move could threaten its survival if it was upheld.