Chinese phone maker ZTE saved from brink after deal with U.S.


Ross also said that the company will have to replace its entire management and board of directors as part of the deal.

The deal includes a $1 billion penalty against ZTE and a US-chosen compliance department to be embedded into the company. He later tweeted that the ZTE talks were "part of a larger trade deal" being negotiated with China.

President Donald Trump has drawn fire from Congress for intervening in the case to rescue a Chinese company that had violated USA sanctions against two rogue nations that have been pursuing nuclear weapons programs.

One of the U.S. companies caught in the crossfire is Qualcomm Inc, whose products account for the lion's share of chips inside ZTE smartphones.

"This is a pretty strict settlement ..." At the time, the Chinese government complained that the action could put the company, a major employer and star of the Chinese technology industry, out of business.

ZTE did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Thursday.

After having been found to have sold equipment to sanctioned countries such as Iran and North Korea, ZTE was previously fined $1.19 billion.

The Trump administration yesterday announced a deal to allow the telecommunications company to resume buying from US companies, eliminating a key sticking point for the two nations in their talks on trade.

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"The total deal is $1.4 billion".

Under the deal, the ban is suspended for 10 years and can be activated by Commerce should the company commit additional violations during that decade-long "probationary period", the department said in a statement announcing the agreement.

In April, the US Department of Commerce issued an order barring US companies from selling software or hardware to ZTE for seven years, after the company violated US sanctions by working with Iran and North Korea. The Chinese authorities' involvement, on the backdrop of ongoing trade negotiations with the USA, have saved ZTE from almost-certain death. The company has 20 USA offices or research centers and has sponsored five National Basketball Association teams.

Despite the settlement, there was no sign Trump had veered from plans this month to impose as much as $50 billion in tariffs on Chinese imports to punish Beijing for its alleged theft of American technology and know-how.

Despite this new change, the Pentagon has still ordered all ZTE and Huawei phones to be removed from its military bases.

The US has struck a deal with Chinese telecom giant ZTE, resolving a controversy that had put the Chinese telecom giant in peril.

Thursday's agreement was "a prerequisite for making broader progress", DeBusk said.