China's ZTE signs preliminary agreement to lift United States ban

The Trump administration is putting the finishing touches on a deal with ZTE. Bloomberg’s Jodi Schneider reports

The deal includes a $1 billion fine against ZTE plus $400 million in escrow in the event of future violations.

"At about 6 a.m. this morning, we executed a definitive agreement with ZTE", Ross told CNBC.

The company was found to have shipped its sophisticated telecommunications equipment to both nations and to have repeatedly lied to US investigators about its actions. ZTE relies on US parts and the ban also hurt ZTE's USA suppliers. ZTE seemingly had little hope of survival until President Donald Trump tweeted that he was pushing the Commerce Department to work with ZTE to remove the ban -- an unprecedented move by a USA president to countermand one of his own departments. A ZTE spokesman couldn't be reached for comment. The resolution of the ZTE case may clear the way for the U.S.to make progress in its high-stakes trade talks with China. In exchange, ZTE would have to pay a total of $1.7 billion in penalties, according to the the report. But now, Reuters is reporting that ZTE has signed a preliminary deal that could allow ZTE to resume operations.

"If the USA is truly going to make an example out of ZTE, the name itself is now toxic and can not be used going forward", Earl Lum, the President of EJL Wireless Research, a consultancy and research firm based in the United States, said when the ban came into force.

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While the agreement has not been finalized, ZTE has apparently agreed to pay another hefty fine to revive its business. Not only that, but the entire board and executive teams must be fully replaced within 30 days from the time of signing the agreement.

However, last month, Trump tweeted that "too many jobs in China" were being lost because of the US action and that he had instructed the Commerce Department to find a solution. It has a small but rising share of the smartphone business in the US.

Also as part of the deal, the company must allow audits of their sites so that it can be seen USA components are being used as claimed.

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