Commerce Secretary says USA has deal with China to resurrect ZTE

08 June, 2018, 04:37 | Author: Sheri Evans
  • EnlargeSpencer Platt  Getty Images

The deal will involve ZTE paying a $1bn penalty and hiring a compliance team chosen by the US, Mr Ross told CNBC.

Washington lawmakers were indignant last month after Trump offered to rescue ZTE as a personal favor to Chinese President Xi Jinping - even though the company is widely considered a liability for U.S. national cyber-security. ZTE, the fourth-largest smartphone maker in the USA by market share, "buys a big percentage of individual parts from U.S. companies".

The penalties are in addition to the $892 million in penalties ZTE already paid.

The Commerce Department said Thursday that ZTE must also put $400 million in escrow - a sum that it would forfeit if it violated Thursday's agreement.

Reuters reported earlier this week that the two sides were close to reaching a deal that would allow ZTE to resume business as usual.

"The total deal is $1.4 billion".

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"At about 6 a.m. this morning, we executed a definitive agreement with ZTE".

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer called the agreement "a 180-degree turn away from the president's promise to be tough on China".

US companies could soon be cleared to do business with China's ZTE, according to Reuters. FBI Director Chris Wray said the proliferation of ZTE phones in the USA provides "the capacity to maliciously modify or steal information".

ZTE did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

As part of this deal, ZTE will also have to replace its board within 30 days as well as accepting "unfettered site visits" from the United States to ensure that components are being used for their claimed goal.

Last year, ZTE paid over $2.3 billion to USA suppliers, a senior ZTE official told Reuters last month.

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US senators said they plan legislation to roll back the agreement. At that time, the US discovered documents that showed how ZTE established new entities to sell USA technologies to Iran.

The sources said ZTE also agreed to allow U.S. representatives to make site visits without coordinating with Chinese government officials, as required by a non-public agreement between the countries.

Several U.S. chipmakers, including Qualcomm and Intel, count ZTE as a customer.

"It doesn't really move the ball forward on the deeper structural issues in U.S".

Thursday's agreement was "a prerequisite for making broader progress", DeBusk said. Smaller makers of optical components, including Oclaro and Acacia, rely more heavily on ZTE's business.

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