Chinese workers

Updated at 4:21 p.m. ET

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross says he will explore other ways to punish a Chinese cellphone manufacturer, after a surprising tweet from President Trump that said the original penalty was too harsh.

Trump tweeted on Sunday that smartphone giant ZTE was losing "too many jobs in China" as a result of U.S. sanctions. He said he was working with Chinese President Xi Jinping to find a solution.

American businessman Chip Starnes finally left his factory in China on Thursday after he and a union negotiator worked out severance payments for Chinese employees.

Starnes had been stuck inside his medical supply parts factory since last Friday. That's when workers, fearing they were all going to be laid off and that the company wasn't going to compensate them fairly, blocked all of the exits out of the plant. Starnes couldn't get out.

The president of a medical supplies company based in Coral Springs is being held captive by angry Chinese workers in a suburban Beijing factory, the Associated Press reports. Specialty Medical Supplies, Inc. president Charles "Chip" Starnes says he has been locked in his office since last week, when he announced that about 50 workers would be laid off because the company is stopping production of a blood lancet device.