The Trump administration had imposed crushing sanctions on ZTE for blatant disregard of sanctions law it agreed to. ZTE was guilty of selling electronics equipment to both Iran and North Korea that included American technology. After ZTE basically was run out of business due to the penalties involved, the Trump administration attempted to reach out to ZTE to help but then later gave up. All of this was happening behind the scenes during both trade talks as well as talks with North Korea.
In a related issue, Facebook has been giving China "special privilege" to its data. It was revealed today that Facebook has been giving its data to a Chinese firm that was flagged by U.S. intelligence companies.
Remember when it was revealed that Chinese hackers accessed the data of millions of U.S. government employees? How much data does the Chinese government now have on American citizens and how could it be used in their new "Social Credit System" they are implementing on its citizens? Where is everything leading?