Several leading US tech companies saw their share prices collapse in trading on Monday, after the US Ministry of Commerce removed export privileges for Chinese telecoms manufacturer ZTE, effectively banning trade with the Shenzhen-based company for seven years.
Acacia Communications, a developer of fiber-optics technology, saw its share price fall by more than 36 percent, with Dmitry Netis of financial analysis firm William Blair calling the US decision “shocking and… a complete surprise.”
Many US tech companies in the fiber optics industry have worked closely with Chinese companies like ZTE in recent years.
In a statement released Monday, Acacia said it was “taking steps to suspend affected transactions,” and would assess the impact of the suspension on trade with ZTE.
In 2017, 30 percent of Acacia’s revenue came directly from its sales to ZTE. The company, which has a market cap of just over one billion US dollars, is particularly exposed to the White House’s decision to block US sales to ZTE.
China's Ministry of Commerce on Tuesday highlighted how ZTE has engaged in extensive investment and cooperation agreements with hundreds of US companies, creating tens of thousands of jobs.
Oclaro, a supplier of optical components to ZTE, Huawei and several other Chinese telecoms companies, saw its share price fall by more than 15 percent on Monday. The California-based company is in the middle of a 1.7-billion-US-dollar takeover by US optics and laser manufacturer Lumentum, which saw its own share price finish Monday trading down by more than nine percent.
According to data provided by both companies, Oclaro makes about 10 to 15 percent of its revenue from ZTE, while Lumentum makes around three percent from its sales to the Chinese telecoms company.
It remains to be seen how much the US halt on trade with ZTE will affect the wider tech industry, and if there will be further repercussions affecting business with other Chinese telecoms companies like Huawei.
Inphi, Finisar and NeoPhotonics do more trade with Huawei than they do with ZTE, but they also felt the effect of the ZTE ban, dropping by 5.96, 4.05 and 3.98 percent, respectively.
Lumentum is the company behind the facial recognition technology in the iPhone X, one of the product's key sellings points when released in November 2017.
Lumentum gets around 15 percent of its revenue from Huawei, and the abrupt ban on business with ZTE will cause concern that the US government does not have the interests of its own tech industry at heart. Lumentum is the primary supplier of the laser technology that powers the iPhone X’s facial recognition technology.
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