US removes trade ban on ZTE
The US Department of Commerce on Friday lifted a ban on US companies selling goods to ZTE, allowing China's second—largest telecommunications equipment maker to resume business.
The Commerce Department removed the ban shortly after ZTE deposited $400 million in a US bank escrow, as part of a settlement reached last month. The settlement also included a $1 billion penalty ZTE paid to the US Treasury in June.
“The department will remain vigilant as we closely monitor ZTE’s actions to ensure compliance with all US laws and regulations,” Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said in an emailed statement that described the penalties and other conditions as the strictest ever imposed in such a case. The terms “will allow the department to protect US national security,” Ross said.
ZTE did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
ZTE, which relies on U.S. components for its smart phones and networking gear, ceased major operations after the ban was ordered in April.