ZTE pays $1.4 billion penalty; USA to lift ban

ZTE pays $1.4 billion penalty; USA to lift ban

ZTE pays $1.4 billion penalty; USA to lift ban

The US Commerce Department has lifted an export ban that blocked Chinese mobile giant ZTE from doing business with US companies.

ZTE was recently allowed to resume some sales in the USA earlier this month, after paying a fine, replacing their entire executive board, and hiring a US affiliated monitor for business operations moving forward.

ZTE, which makes smartphones and networking gear, signed an agreement with the United States on Thursday that paved the way for it to resume operations after a almost three-month ban on doing business with American suppliers. The latest $1.4 billion deal comes on top of that.

Ross said the deal will protect US national security, despite claims by lawmakers in Congress that ZTE and other large Chinese corporations can not be trusted with sensitive USA technology. The news came after markets closed in Asia.

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Shares of smaller USA suppliers, which are more dependent on ZTE, pared losses after the news, including optical component makers Acacia Communications Inc, Oclaro Inc and Lumentum Holdings Inc.

The company, which employs some 80,000 people, got a limited one-month waiver last week to maintain existing networks and equipment. The new agreement once again imposes a denial order that is suspended, this time for 10 years, which BIS can activate in the event of additional violations during the ten-year probationary period. ZTE also replaced its entire board of directors and senior leadership. Last month, the Senate voted unanimously to reinstate the ban on the company citing national security concerns.

In a statement this week, Senator Mark Warner of Virginia, the senior Democrat on the Select Committee on Intelligence, lambasted the reversal, saying the USA military and spy agencies had branded ZTE an "ongoing threat" to United States national security. Its fate is unclear.

Reuters reported on the US demands for a deal on June 1, and on June 5, revealed that ZTE had signed a preliminary agreement with the Commerce Department, along with the fine and other terms. The ban was imposed in April after ZTE broke an agreement it reached after pleading guilty in USA federal court a year ago for illegally shipping U.S. goods and technology to Iran, in violation of United States sanctions. It also broke news of the ban in April.

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