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ZTE sanctions might strengthen Chinese tech

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Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

When the U.S. announced new trade sanctions against Chinese tech giant ZTE last month, it didn't intend to strengthen China's domestic semiconductor industry. But trade fights can have unexpected consequences.

"The Trump administration probably didn't think twice about sanctioning ZTE, but it's going to have real effects," said Jim Lewis, senior vice president at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and a former head of the Commerce Department team dealing with national security issues in high tech trade with China.