USA Reaches Agreement with Chinese Telecommunications Co. ZTE

09 June, 2018, 20:36 | Author: Sheri Evans
  • ZTE signs preliminary agreement to lift US ban

China-based ZTE has reportedly signed an agreement in principle that would lift a U.S. Commerce Department ban on the company which barred it from buying from U.S. suppliers. It appears that ZTE could be "back in business" after being consigned to the technological wasteland for breaking last year's deal concerning illegal telecom shipments to Iran and North Korea. On Tuesday, Commerce Department spokesman James Rockas confirmed that "no definitive agreement [had] been signed by both parties". These penalties are in addition to the $892 million in penalties ZTE has already paid to the U.S government under the March 2017 settlement agreement. ZTE was assessed US$2.29 billion in civil and criminal penalties by the Commerce Department and other United States agencies since a year ago. ZTE will also provide access to a team for a period of 10 years to monitor the company's compliance with US export control laws.

The compliance team will report jointly to the new ZTE chairman and the US Commerce Department.

According to reports out of China, ZTE has been making plans to resume manufacturing within hours from the official lift of the US embargo, which deprived it of crucial USA -made components including SoCs, radio chips, and software.

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ZTE did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

However, President Trump chose to step in and help save Chinese jobs and perhaps gain an upper hand in ongoing trade negations with China.

Today, BIS is imposing the largest penalty it has ever levied and requiring that ZTE adopt unprecedented compliance measures. ZTE will pay a $1 billion fine, change its board and management, and put $400 in escrow. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced this development in relation to ZTE's ban.

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ZTE's survival has been a topic of discussion in high-level U.S.

He added the U.S. ban had caused "huge losses for the company" which had been forced to pay a "disastrous price". The company already has a US court-appointed monitor.

The agreement is controversial: ZTE had been sanctioned by the US for doing business with North Korea and Iran. The US government will receive up to $1.7 billion in fines as part of the settlement.

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The sanctions have prevented ZTE from receiving semiconductors and other components from suppliers including Qualcomm, Intel and Micron Technology, optical component suppliers Maynard, Acacia, Oclaro and Lumentum, as well as software suppliers Microsoft and Oracle, among others.

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