ZTE Prepping Overhauled Board to Get Past US Ban
ZTE is nearly ready to install a new board of directors, a step required by the U.S. Department of Commerce if the company wants to end the ban on U.S. supplies. The company held its annual general meeting in Shenzhen this week where shareholders voted on this and other matters. ZTE is expected to name eight new members to its board. In April, the Commerce Department banned ZTE from using U.S. parts and software, crippling the company. On June 7, the Commerce Department said it would end the ban as long as ZTE pays $1 billion fine, puts $400 million into escrow, and replaces its leadership. In addition to the new board, the Commerce Department wants all executives at or above the senior vice president level to be fired, along with any execs who played a role in the wrongdoing. ZTE will also have to put in place a U.S.-appointed compliance officer. The company has already paid the $1 billion fine. Once all these steps are taken, ZTE will have met the Commerce Department's conditions. Even if it does, it is unclear when the company might be allowed to get back to business. A number of senators and congressmen want the ban to remain in place. Since the ban went into effect, ZTE has been largely idle. Its shares have dropped 60%, erasing $11 billion from its valuation. The new board may be voted in as soon as today.
Jun 20, 2018
ZTE will be the topic of discussion at a meeting today between President Trump and members of the Senate and House of Representatives, reports Reuters. Trump wants to talk about the "problematic" amendment made to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) earlier this week, which will keep certain sanctions against ZTE in place.
Jul 20, 2018
Senators have overturned an agreement added to the National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA, that would have made it more difficult for President Trump to remove the ban instituted against ZTE. Earlier this year, the Commerce Department said ZTE lied about a previous settlement and banned the company from using American parts or software in its phonres for a period of seven years.
Jul 6, 2018
ZTE has now replaced four of its top leaders (CEO, CFO, CTO, and head of HR) and its entire board of directors, as required by a tentative deal with the U.S. government.
Jun 25, 2018
ZTE has taken the first step toward resuming operations by forking over $1 billion to the U.S. Department of Commerce.
Oct 4, 2018
A judge this week says ZTE violated the terms of the probation imposed on the company in March 2017, when it admitted to illegally shipping technology to Iran. ZTE settled with the government then and agreed to a probationary period through 2020.