ZTE Settles with U.S., Pays $1 Billion Fine

The United States and Chinese telecom ZTE have reached a deal that will let the ailing company return to business, according to the Wall Street Journal. The deal requires the company to pay a $1 billion fine for violating sanctions by providing goods to Iran and North Korea. The Trump administration’s initial response to the transgression was a full ban on American products being sold to the company, rendering it unable to produce any goods. Trump then reversed course, promising to return Chinese jobs. The deal also requires the company to “change its management and its board” and put “$400 million in escrow, which it will forfeit if it violates U.S. sanctions on North Korea and Iran.” This comes after ZTE hired a Trump campaign veteran to lobby on its behalf, and as the Trump administration has been piling up tariffs against Beijing and U.S. allies. U.S. intel officials have long warned about Chinese spying technology embedded in ZTE products.