A U.S. ban will make it tough for ZTE to compete in the global smartphone business. Photo: ZTE

Chinese telecom firm ZTE is delaying this week's scheduled quarterly earnings report as it scrambles to deal with a Commerce Dept. ban that keeps it from buying U.S. components for the next seven years, the WSJ reported Wednesday.

Why it matters: The order is a huge blow to the company, especially for the smartphone part of its business that relies on chips from Qualcomm and software from Google and others.

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