US Formally Lifts Ban on China's ZTE

16 July, 2018, 13:44 | Author: Gerard Cortez
  • ZTE can once again do business with American companies

On Friday, Senator Marco Rubio, a Republican, criticized the lifting of the ban. "Assuming ZTE will be able to get back into business next week, we believe the market will start focusing on its earnings prospects".

As the U.S. Senate prepares to vote on what will likely be the final version of the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), some senators are making a final push for the original ban and penalties targeting Chinese telecom company ZTE to be reintroduced via an addition to the legislation. "There is no "deal" with a state-directed company that the Chinese government and Communist Party uses to spy and steal from us where Americans come out winning", Rubio said in a statement.

The ban stripped ZTE of its access to crucial USA -based suppliers, including Qualcomm. White House trade adviser Peter Navarro said last month Trump agreed to lift the ban as a goodwill gesture to Chinese President Xi Jinping.

The company also was required to replace its board of directors, retain outside monitors and put United States dollars 400 million in escrow to cover any future violations - a final step it took this week. The ban was imposed after the U.S. government determined that ZTE violated terms of a 2017 settlement, reached after ZTE illegally shipped U.S. equipment to Iran and North Korea.

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Shares of US suppliers Acacia Communications and Lumentum Holdings rose more than 3 percent on the news before ending less than 1 percent higher.

The June settlement also required ZTE to change its board and management, and to allow the USA government unfettered site visits to verify US components are being used as claimed. The $1 billion penalty was sent to the U.S. Treasury last month.

It estimated a preliminary net loss of 7.0-9.0 billion yuan (US$1.05-1.34 billion) in January to June period versus a profit of 2.3 billion yuan the previous year, it said in a filing to the Hong Kong stock exchange.

"The ZTE settlement represents the toughest penalty and strictest compliance regime the Department has ever imposed in such a case", the Commerce Department said.

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