China’s ZTE will pay $1B fine in deal with US

ZTE has been banned from purchasing sensitive technology from the US over its illegal sales to Iran and North Korea

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross confirmed to CNBC that the U.S. government has reached an agreement with ZTE to lift the crippling supply ban imposed on April 16.

According to a report from Reuters, ZTE has reached a deal with U.S. authorities that would lift a ban that prevents it from buying parts from United States suppliers.

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.

"We still retain the power to shut them down again", Ross said. Last year, ZTE settled the case with the U.S. government, promising to pay $890 million in fines and punish dozens of ZTE executives who orchestrated the illicit technology sales.

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer called the agreement "a 180-degree turn away from the president's promise to be tough on China".

"We urge you not to compromise lawful USA enforcement actions against serial and pre-meditated violators of USA law, such as ZTE", the senators wrote to key Trump cabinet members.

ZTE did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Thursday. Furthermore the company will have to completely clean house on its executive team and board of directors, replacing all of the members in both of those groups.

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The company paid $892 million in fines, with an additional $300 million suspended to encourage compliance with the settlement. Despite opposition in Congress, the DoC announced today that it reached a deal with ZTE to end sanctions. "The Chinese public was up in arms because they believed the US was destroying ZTE".

Reviving ZTE has been a personal focus for President Trump, whose government is in the middle of broader trade negotiations with the Chinese government.

"I think where we ended up on ZTE is in a better place", said Gutierrez, who has been critical of other Trump administration trade policies. "It's unprecedented to have US agents as monitors ..." The two sides had threatened each other with waves of new tariffs on tens of billions of dollars of exports.

Shares in NXP Semiconductors NV rose 3.8 per cent in early trading in NY after news of the ZTE deal was announced.

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

Shares of Acacia and Oclaro extended their gains on Tuesday in heavy trading after news of the preliminary deal, ending up 1.7 percent and 1.8 percent, respectively.

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