Probably following the directive of US President Donald Trump several weeks ago, it looks like the US government is giving Chinese tech brand ZTE a little room to breathe. While they are still working on revoking the US supplier ban, they have reportedly released an authorization that would let them continue operations, provide handsets for customers, and permit transfer of funds to and from the company. The Chinese OEM is also seemingly complying with the conditions imposed by the government, like radically overhauling their management.
If you still need a bit of a background, ZTE was given a supplier ban, meaning they could not conduct business with any US company. This is because they conducted trade deals with Iran and North Korea, with both countries still under US economic trade sanctions. Furthermore, ZTE did not comply with the agreement to punish officials that were responsible for such violations. This became a huge problem since they get a third of their equipment from US suppliers.
The authorization now lets them continue operating existing networks and equipment. They will also be able to provide support for handset customers for contracts that were signed before April 15. They will also be allowed to transfer limited funds to or from ZTE. The papers from the US Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Services will run from July 2 until August 1. There is no official statement from either parties, but this is seemingly in line with the deal reached last month.
Maybe not coincidentally, ZTE announced the departure of one of their senior executives due to “personal commitments” while seven other executives were also removed from their positions. Part of its settlement agreement is an overhaul of their management, along with a $1 billion penalty and putting $400 million in an escrow account.