Commerce Secretary: U.S. reaches deal with China's ZTE

10 June, 2018, 03:16 | Author: Regina Lloyd
  • ZTE signs preliminary agreement to lift US ban

The agreement includes a $1 billion penalty for ZTE and another $400 million in trust to cover future possible violations.

In addition to the new fine, on top of the $892 million paid to the USA government from a previous settlement, the company must also place $400 million in an escrow account with the Bank for International Settlements (BIS).

The crippling ban was put in place after Washington said ZTE violated a 2017 deal in which the Chinese company admitted to evading sanctions on Iran and North Korea.

The US Department of Commerce has finally come to an agreement with the Chinese telecom company ZTE (HKSE:0763).

Back in April, the United States government announced a complete and total ban of any U.S. components manufacturers from selling to Chinese telecom and handset giant, ZTE (HKG:0763). The ban also hurt American companies that supply ZTE.

The settlement in March 2017 was reached after ZTE was found to have violated a USA trade embargo by engaging in a multi-year conspiracy to use equipment that originated in the United States for telecommunications networks in Iran.

ZTE did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Thursday.




Over the weekend, ZTE signed the agreement drawn up by the United States, the sources said, but the amended settlement has not been signed.

Under the new agreement, ZTE will have to pay a $1 billion fine and replace its entire board of directors and senior leadership. "They will pay for those people, but the people will report to the new chairman", Ross told CNBC. The company has also agreed to a decade of inspections to ensure compliance with US export control laws.

"We will closely monitor ZTE's behaviour".

As part of a new agreement, the sources said, ZTE will retain another compliance contractor in addition to the three-year court-appointed monitor imposed by the plea agreement. For other USA companies, ZTE is a supplier.

Critics like senator Marco Rubio have criticized the Trump administration's willingness to cut a deal with ZTE, saying it undercuts USA national security.

However, last month, Trump tweeted that "too many jobs in China" were being lost because of the US action and that he had instructed the Commerce Department to find a solution.

The announcement boosted shares in United States component makers including Acacia Communications, Oclaro and Lumentum Holdings. It was reported that last month T-Mobile was going to walk away from an agreement worth more than $1 billion to distribute ZTE smartphones, among other products, in the U.S.

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