Yin Yimin, chairman of ZTE Corp, said the Chinese telecom equipment maker firmly opposed the United States government's decision to impose unfair and unreasonable penalties on it.
"The U.S. Department of Commerce is politicizing trade frictions and overly playing up small issues. We are determined to safeguard our legitimate rights and interests through all legally available means," he said.
The reply came after the U.S. Department of Commerce banned ZTE earlier this week from buying any U.S. technology for seven years, a decision that may deal a deadly blow to the Chinese company and negatively affect the global telecom industry.
The ban is sending the whole company into a state of shock, severely affecting its 80,000 employees and their families, as well as several hundred telecom carriers ZTE serves and tens of millions of U.S. consumers, Yin said.
It will also directly harm the businesses of its thousands of partners, including U.S. companies, which supply products and technologies to and team up with ZTE in the telecom sector.
"We will step up spending on research and development to boost our in-house technological capabilities," he added.
According to him, the information technology industry is so globalized no country can be fully independent, and the United States is no exception. That's exactly why the U.S. ban has such a catastrophic impact on the Shenzhen-based company.
"We have 30,000 R&D employees globally, and we have been the third largest patent applicant in the world in terms of the Patent Cooperation Treaty for eight consecutive years," Yin said. "We also play an important role in international telecom standard organizations. We use self-developed chips in a range of products, but this incident highlights that we need to do more to become stronger."