BEIJING (Reuters) – China raised with a visiting U.S. trade delegation the issue of a ban by the United States on its companies selling components and software to ZTE Corp for seven years, the Ministry of Commerce said on Friday.

FILE PHOTO: A ZTE smart phone is pictured in this illustration taken April 17, 2018. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri/Illustration/File Photo

Washington imposed sanctions on ZTE last month for breaking an agreement to punish employees after the Chinese maker of smartphones and telecoms gear shipped U.S. goods to Iran in violation of U.S. sanctions.

ZTE said the ban was unacceptable and threatened its survival.

The Commerce ministry said Chinese officials made solemn representations to the U.S. delegation that took part in bilateral trade negotiations in Beijing this week.

U.S. officials said they attached great value to China’s representations and would report back to U.S. President Donald Trump on the matter, the ministry said.

Reporting by Lusha Zhang and Se Young Lee; Editing by Darren Schuettler

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