Wednesday, 23 October, 2019

Management purge, U.S. oversight & $1.3bn fine: Trump’s terms to reopen ZTE

Chairman and CEO Pony Ma attends a news conference announcing the company's annual results in Hong Kong Ch Chairman and CEO Pony Ma attends a news conference announcing the company's annual results in Hong Kong Ch
Russell Knight | 27 May, 2018, 21:07

It seems the war of words between the United States and China is moving to a war on trade and a ...

Such an agreement is likely to face fierce resistance on Capitol Hill.

The deal, as described by congressional aides and USA officials, also requires ZTE to pay a substantial fine and hire US compliance officers tasked with ensuring it adheres to the deal.

Fox News said Trump told them on Thursday that he had negotiated the $1.3 billion fine with Chinese President Xi Jinping in a phone call.

The reported terms of the deal closely match the conditions US President Donald Trump and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross described earlier this week as a means for the firm to escape the export ban that almost shuttered its operations. As I wrote earlier this month, a company of its global scale brings significant revenue to us businesses which, beyond more obvious consumer-facing companies, includes component-level partners like Qualcomm, who would be impacted if ZTE were to disappear tomorrow.

Lawmakers in both parties have expressed concern over his decision to soften an earlier United States action against ZTE over violations of sanctions on Iran and North Korea. It's understood that the company will be required to install US compliance officers within its operations, and change its management team - presumably (or ostensibly) to prevent a reoccurrence of past misdeeds. ZTE misled the Department of Commerce.

Rubio's message echoes that of New York Democrat Sen.

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Still, leaders of both parties are concerned the deal isn't enough to prevent national security risks. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., the author of the Senate provision.

On Friday evening, President Donald Trump lashed out at Democratic lawmakers and confirmed the news of the deal on Twitter.

Top Republican Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, who chairs a key subcommittee on foreign relations, denounced the move, and vowed lawmakers would work on "veto-proof legislation" to stop the deal. "Many hoped this time would be different". "Now congress will need to act". The Commerce Department, in return, would lift an order that now prevents ZTE from buying American products.

It's the latest twist in a saga of geopolitics and high technology that has its roots in ZTE's violations of US sanctions against Iran back in 2010. The ban amounted to a virtual death sentence for ZTE, which relies on us parts, and it also hurt ZTE's USA suppliers.

"When we look into the fundamental research of these chip technologies, China still has a very weak base", said Ma.

The company has lost over three billion dollars since the April 15 ban on doing business with USA suppliers, said ZTE.

US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross is scheduled to visit China next week for another round of talks.

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