Shares of ZTE rose as much as 10 percent over news that it was boosting its investments in the auto business as Tencent revealed that it is recruiting self-driving car engineers in California.
Despite the US sanctions, ZTE also announced that it will cooperate with US telecommunications equipment company Qualcomm to tap into the transportation and automotive market in China, and extend its efforts into LTE-V2X (LTE Vehicle-to-Everything) technology.
Senior vice president Wang Xiang said ZTE believed the technology would have a profound impact in driver safety and traffic efficiency.
Meanwhile, Chinese technology company Tencent Holdings (0700) is recruiting self-driving car engineers in California.
"We are building a research team for our Auto-drive Team based in Palo Alto, CA," the company said in job advertisements on LinkedIn
Baidu, one of its major rivals, has had an autonomous vehicles permit since 2011 in California.
On November 1, Tencent unveiled a new smart vehicle system embedded with WeChat controlling in-car activities and CEO Pony Ma said his company would "seriously consider" having a virtual reality (VR) backed WeChat.