Commerce Department Says ZTE Has Paid $1 Billion Fine
ZTE has taken the first step toward resuming operations by forking over $1 billion to the U.S. Department of Commerce. The fine is part of a new agreement the company reached with the government in an attempt to end the destructive ban that prevents it from buying U.S. software and hardware. ZTE still has to put $400 million into escrow and rearrange its top leadership, which are also aspects of the agreement. ZTE will lose the $400 million if it skirts the rules again. The company was punished for breaking a 2017 settlement over illegal sales to Iran and North Korea. ZTE misrepresented to U.S. officials how it handled portions of that earlier settlement. The Commerce Department then banned ZTE from using U.S. products for a period of seven years, which has effectively forced the business to cease operations. The new agreement was brokered by the Trump administration, but it is encountering resistance from members of Congress. It's unclear if or when the Trump administration and Congress will reach a final agreement over the company's fate.
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