ZTE signs preliminary agreement to lift USA ban


The United States and China have reached a deal that allows the Chinese telecommunications giant ZTE Corp.to stay in business in exchange for paying an additional $1 billion in fines and agreeing to let us regulators monitor its operations.

Speaking in a CNBC interview, Ross said the deal includes a US$1 billion penalty against ZTE and a US-selected compliance team to be embedded at the company to prevent further violations of the sort that prompted the Commerce Department to cut ZTE off from its United States suppliers. The U.S.is maintaining its 10-year export ban on ZTE, but the ban is indefinitely suspended and is likely to remain suspended if ZTE complies with the U.S. trade laws.

"We will closely monitor ZTE's behaviour".

The penalties are in addition to the $892 million in penalties ZTE already paid.

"Today, [U.S. Commerce Department's Bureau of Industry and Security] is imposing the largest penalty it has ever levied and requiring that ZTE adopt unprecedented compliance measures", said Secretary Ross.

Total US penalties imposed on ZTE now amount to $2.3 billion, according to the Commerce Department. "ZTE has also been replacing some of its top executives in a bid to make good on its pledge". It was blocked from purchasing parts from USA companies, sanctions that had crippled the company. "That money will be forfeited if they violate anything", Ross told CNBC.

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DUSTIN DWYER, BYLINE: There had been word in recent days of a possible deal between ZTE and USA regulators.

Negotiations over ZTE had been linked to wider trade talks between the USA and China.

Regardless of those talks, the Trump administration is facing a deeply hostile reaction from Congress, where there is bipartisan opposition to the deal.

Trump barged into the ZTE case last month by tweeting that he was working with the Chinese president, Xi Jinping, to put ZTE "back in business, fast" and save tens of thousands of Chinese jobs. Separately, Qualcomm is trying to get Chinese approval for its pending $44 billion acquisition of NXP Semiconductors NV.

Do you think this agreement will act as a good way to keep ZTE in check? "I hope it means something good to us, but we are really focused more on our individual application", Mollenkopf told a corporate governance conference in NY.

ZTE supplier Oclaro Inc OCLR.O rose nearly 1 per cent while Acacia Communications Inc ACIA.O was down 1.5 per cent. Oclaro got 18 per cent of its business from ZTE a year ago, while 30 per cent of Acacia's total revenue was from ZTE. Oclaro got 18 percent of its business from ZTE past year, while 30 percent of Acacia's total revenue was from ZTE.