Contrary to circulating rumors, the U.S. Commerce Department has not lifted the ban on ZTE. A source to the Wall Street Journal corrected this report. Instead, the Chinese manufacturer has been given a partial reprieve while a trade restriction debate is ongoing at Congress.
More importantly, the tech giant was authorized by the government to continue supporting most of the equipment and consumer devices it had already deployed before the ban was put in place. ZTE paid a fine of $ 1 billion to gain the approval of the government agency, which would allow them to keep their infrastructure operational. At the same time, this allows ZTE to deliver security updates to its phones and several of its products.
The temporarily eased restrictions on the ban, however, is only available until August 1st. Although there is still no guarantee what will happen after that time, there is reason to believe that ZTE will be fully compliant with the agreement it made with the U.S. government.
Apart from paying a fine, the tech manufacturer has also replaced several of its executives, including its CEO. This was one of the key demands of the U.S. imposed on the company for violating its US sanctions to Iran and North Korea. Other actions fulfilled by ZTE include accepting a US-chosen corporate monitor and putting $ 400 million in escrow.
The trade ban was announced over a couple of months ago. Ever since then, ZTE has remained largely dormant. Since ZTE knows how much of its business requires procuring parts and software from US exports (especially Qualcomm), it has taken the U.S. government’s demands seriously.
The question that remains now is, will the U.S. Commerce Department accept ZTE’s moves?
Source: The Verge, Engadget