China’s ZTE to resume trading after US$1.4 billion US settlement

Last week, Reuters reported a preliminary deal included a US$1 billion fine and US$400 million to be paid by ZTE in escrow to cover any future violations. — Reuters photo

HONG KONG: ZTE Corp said trading in its shares would resume on Wednesday, ending a two-month suspension, after the Chinese telecommunications giant agreed to pay up to US$1.4 billion in penalties to the US government and radically overhaul its management.

China’s No. 2 telecommunications equipment maker was crippled when a seven-year ban was imposed on the company in April for breaking a 2017 agreement reached after it was caught illegally trading with Iran and North Korea.

Last week, Reuters reported a preliminary deal included a US$1 billion fine and US$400 million to be paid by ZTE in escrow to cover any future violations.

As part of the deal, ZTE promised to replace its board and executive team within 30 days, open itself up to US inspections of its sites and improve public disclosure of its supply chain.

The ban, which traced back to a breach of a US embargo on trade with Iran, had prevented ZTE from buying the US components it heavily relies on to make smartphones and other devices.

Confirming details of the agreement publicised by the US government on Monday, ZTE said it would replace its board of directors and that of its import-export subsidiary ZTE Kangxun within 30 days of the June 8 order being signed by the United States.

All members of its leadership at or above the senior vice president level will be removed within the 30-day period, with a commitment they will not be rehired, along with any executives or officers tied to the wrongdoing, it said. — Reuters

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