Washington Completely Lifts ZTE Ban After Three Months

The United States Department of Commerce on Friday completely lifted the denial order imposed on Chinese electronics and telecom gear manufacturer ZTE nearly three months after first issuing it in response to violations of a 2017 settlement over broken import embargoes imposed on Iran and North Korea. As of today morning PST, ZTE can no longer be found on the federal regulator's "Denied Persons Lists" containing names of individuals and entities with whom American companies aren't allowed to trade. While the Commerce Department initially hit ZTE with a seven-year denial order that would have likely brought it to bankruptcy much sooner, the firm resolved to negotiate another settlement so as to remain operational.

As part of the new agreement, ZTE paid a $1 billion fine, ejected and replaced the entirety of its board and management, and hired an independent compliance officer who will monitor its overseas business and report directly to Washington. A $400 million eschew payment is also part of the same settlement, together with the company's pledge to purchase tens of billions of dollars worth of extra goods from American companies over the next twelve months. ZTE already resumed some of its stateside operations several days ago but is only fully back in business as of today.

The Chinese firm and its investors remain worried about the possibility of the denial order being reinstated, with that move presently being pushed through a bipartisan Capitol Hill effort. Should American legislators be able to agree on an anti-ZTE amendment to the must-pass annual defense bill with a supermajority vote that would override the President's power to veto legislation, ZTE would found itself in the same trouble, albeit without any clear-cut path out of it. President Trump has recently been discussing the issue with U.S. lawmakers in an effort to find a compromise but the matter took a backseat to a large-scale trade war between Washington and Beijing that was instigated earlier this month.

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Dominik Bosnjak

Senior Writer
Dominik started at AndroidHeadlines in 2016. He’s approaching his first full decade in the media industry, with his background being primarily in technology, gaming, and entertainment. These days, his focus is more on the political side of the tech game, as well as data privacy issues, with him looking at both of those through the prism of Android. Contact him at [email protected]