ZTE Replaces CEO, Many Other Execs In Lifeline U.S. Deal

ZTE Logo AH2

ZTE replaced its ousted Chief Executive Officer with Xu Ziyang, the former director of its Germany operations, in addition to making a wide variety of other major C-suite management changes, the company said Thursday. The Shenzhen, Guangdong-based firm also appointed Li Ying, Wang Xiyu, and Gu Junying as its Executive Vice Presidents, with Li also being given the role of its new Chief Financial Officer. The moves are part of ZTE’s lifeline deal with Washington meant to revive its business and effectively save it from certain bankruptcy guaranteed by the Commerce Department’s denial order from April which saw it prevent the company from licensing and purchasing crucial American technologies over a seven-year period.

The sanction was issued in response to ZTE’s violations of a 2017 settlement over broken stateside trade embargoes imposed on Iran and North Korea, with the Chinese consumer electronics manufacturer previously arguing it self-reported its non-compliance, concluding the U.S. government’s response to the development was hence too harsh. ZTE already resumed some American operations but remains largely crippled until it can completely honor its new settlement with Washington which was directly enabled by the White House. The U.S. Senate recently approved a defense bill amendment that would reinstate the sanctions with a supermajority vote but still lacks comparable support from the House until it could possibly reverse President Trump’s reversal on the issue.

The company already paid a $1 billion fine as part of the second settlement and made another $400 million eschew payment in case of any future violations occurring. A bipartisan effort from U.S. lawmakers to stop the company from continue doing business is painting it as a national security threat due to the fact it’s majority-owned by a state-controlled firm despite being publicly traded on two stock exchanges in China. ZTE replaced its board several days back and agreed to hire an independent trade embargo compliance officer who will indefinitely report to the U.S.