Tuesday, 23 October, 2018

ZTE averts closure, agrees to pay $1 billion fine and management revamp

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Laurie Berry | 09 June, 2018, 17:05

In addition, the company will put $400 million into an escrow account, which the USA can access if it finds ZTE to be out of compliance with the agreement.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross on Thursday said ZTE, the Chinese smartphone maker, was back in the good graces of Uncle Sam - after it agreed to fork over a $1 billion fine and allow U.S. regulatory cops to walk a beat inside the company's headquarters.

The deal, announced by US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, will mean the end of a ban on ZTE buying American parts, provided the state-controlled company sticks to the terms.

Washington's agreement Thursday to restore ZTE's access to USA components removed a prominent irritant in relations with Beijing, but the two nations still are embroiled in a broader conflict over trade, tariffs and technology policy.

In April, the US Department of Commerce issued an order barring US companies from selling software or hardware to ZTE for seven years, after the company violated US sanctions by working with Iran and North Korea.

The initial United States supplier ban was imposed after ZTE failed to comply with an agreement with the Commerce Department in 2017, when it pleaded guilty in federal court in Texas to conspiring to evade U.S. embargoes by illegally shipping USA goods and technology to Iran.

In an interview with CNBC, Ross expressed his satisfaction with the arrangement, which imposes a fine of one billion dollars to this giant of the sector and forces it to leave in trust 400 additional millions. Their function will be to monitor on a real-time basis ZTE's compliance with USA export control laws.

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In return, the U.S. will be suspending - but not removing - the U.S. technology export ban that has caused the company to grind to a halt to begin with.

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

Former Minnesota Republican Senator Norm Coleman represents ZTE Corp, which scored a major victory today as the US Commerce Dept. announced a deal to lift sanctions imposed on it. Today, commerce secretary Wilbur Ross told CNBC that the U.S. struck a deal with ZTE to return it to business. "They will pay for those people, but the people will report to the new chairman".

Zhongxing Telecommunications Equipment (ZTE) Corporation is a Chinese company headquartered in Shenzhen, Guangdong, China. ZTE will pay a $1 billion fine, change its board and management, and put $400 in escrow.

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

The agreement comes as US President Donald Trump seeks trade concessions from China and negotiations continue to avoid a trade war between the world's two largest economies.

The announcement boosted shares in USA component makers including Acacia Communications, Oclaro and Lumentum Holdings.

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