ZTE Banned From Using Hardware & Software from US Companies for 7 Years

Secretary Ross Announces Activation of ZTE Denial Order in Response to Repeated False Statements to the U.S. Government

ZTE has been buying the hardware from the United States companies and using in its products which are later shipped to Iran and North Korea.

"ZTE made false statements to the US Government when they were originally caught and put on the Entity List, made false statements during the reprieve it was given, and made false statements again during its probation", said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross Jr. The U.S. court ruled that ZTE had to pay $890 million in penalties with a possible additional penalty of $300 million. The U.S. Commerce Department said it banned American companies from selling products to ZTE because the company violated the terms of a deal a year ago settling allegations of sanctions busting.

On top of the false statements regarding U.S. components, Ross also claims ZTE did not live up to promises when it came to firing or disciplining employees who were directly involved with the initial complaint. But the Chinese company admitted in March that while it had fired the four senior employees, it had not disciplined or reduced bonuses to the 35 others. Now, it seems that ZTE will have to resort to companies like MediaTek for SoCs to use in its handsets. With the ban, none of the carriers are allowed to sell the ZTE smartphones. Acacia Communications Inc, which got 30 percent of its total 2017 revenue from ZTE, tumbled 35 percent, hitting a near two-year low.

The Department of Commerce has now determined ZTE made false statements to BIS in 2016, during settlement negotiations, and 2017, during the probationary period, related to senior employee disciplinary actions the company said it was taking or had already taken.

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ZTE officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Other smaller or less-well-known American companies have been negatively affected by the ban. The company can resume purchasing these components from the US after seven years.

ZTE, which devised elaborate schemes to hide the illegal activity, agreed to plead guilty after the Commerce Department took actions that threatened to cut off its global supply chain. US versions of ZTE phones were found to have a backdoor in 2012. Although Commerce Department officials would not discuss the report, they said the department followed up in February. Despite the fact that it's a company based in China, ZTE was found to be selling technology from the U.S.to Iran through multiple shell companies.

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