China reportedly appealed to the US for an amendment to a seven year restriction imposed on American companies from selling services and equipment to vendor ZTE.

Citing two sources, Reuters said the appeal came during trade talks between both countries, held in Beijing this week.

Chinese negotiators reportedly asked US officials to potentially amend the ban, highlighting efforts made by the vendor to improve compliance.

The development follows a statement reportedly released by China’s Ministry of Commerce, which said it had raised its concerns about US restrictions placed on ZTE with the visiting trade delegation.

The commerce ministry said Chinese officials made “solemn representations” regarding the issue with the US delegation.

US officials responded by stating “they attached great value” to China’s representations, and will escalate the matter back to President Trump.

Last month the US government said it was toughening up on ZTE after determining the company made false statements during an investigation which found the Chinese vendor violated trade sanctions with Iran, by shipping US telecoms equipment to the country.

ZTE has hit out at the ban, stating it will fight the restrictions.

But, if it is upheld, the company could face broad repercussions, with a significant impact felt on its handset business because it will be blocked from accessing key hardware from companies such as Qualcomm, and potentially the use of Android software from Google.

The Chinese government has also reacted strongly, with officials last week stating the ban highlighted the need for the country to reduce its reliance on non-domestic technologies.

The controversy surrounding ZTE is part of a wider trade conflict between the two superpowers.