Monday, 25 June, 2018

U.S. reaches deal with China's ZTE, commerce secretary says

ZTE has been banned from purchasing sensitive technology from the US over its illegal sales to Iran and North Korea Report Tentative ZTE Deal with U.S. Could Bring Fine to $1.7B AFP 5 Jun 2018Washington DC
Lloyd Bates | 11 June, 2018, 17:44

The preliminary deal includes a $1 billion fine against ZTE along with $400 million in escrow to cover any future violations, said sources aware of the development.

Trump has indicated he views the handling of ZTE as part of his administration's broader effort to renegotiate trade conditions with China. The government will suspend the 10-year ban but it can activate the ban if there are any violations.

As part of the deal, ZTE has also reportedly promised to replace its board and executive team in 30 days.

China's ZTE will pay a $1 billion penalty and will embed a US -appointed compliance team, terms that are similar to those President Trump discussed last month when he revealed that Chinese leaders had asked him to look into the matter.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told CNBC this morning that the us has struck a deal to lift sanctions on the electronics giant. "If they commit any further violations, we would again be able to deny them access to U.S. technology as well as collect the additional US$400 million in escrow". "The strictest and largest settlement fine that has ever been brought by the Commerce Department against any violator of export controls".

ZTE did not immediately respond to requests for comment today. Ross, speaking on CNBC today, said that a compliance team picked by the USA will be embedded at ZTE.

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ZTE had been barred in April from buying USA components after the Commerce Department said the company violated a settlement after it admitted in 2017 exporting telecoms equipment to Iran and North Korea in violation of US regulations. The company already has a US court-appointed monitor.

The United States and China have not yet reached a deal on Chinese telecoms giant ZTE that would lift crippling sanctions against the company, top U.S. economic advisor Larry Kudlow said on Wednesday (Jun 6).

One of the United States companies caught in the crossfire is Qualcomm Inc QCOM.O , whose products account for the lion's share of chips inside ZTE smartphones. Their jobs were in jeopardy after ZTE lost access to US technology and suspended most of its operations.

The denial order put ZTE's future into jeopardy because it relies on USA components for so many of its products. Separately, Qualcomm is trying to get Chinese approval for its pending $44 billion acquisition of NXP Semiconductors NV.

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

The U.S. had imposed sanctions on ZTE for illegal sales to Iran and North Korea, but the Chinese company agreed to take corrective action.

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