Update | Trump administration working on ZTE deal
Update 5/26/2018: President Donald Trump has tweeted a message stating that to remain in business ZTE will face a US$1.3 billion fine and must buy parts from US firms. The company will also have to ensure a high level of security and will have to make board and management changes.
It seems the ZTE saga has taken a new turn after recent news of the US House Appropriations Committee insisting the Chinese company should remain banned from doing business with American suppliers seemed to toll the death knell for the beleaguered manufacturer. However, an article published by The New York Times reports that the Trump administration has come up with a deal that would see the ban imposed on ZTE lifted. But for this to happen, the Shenzhen-based firm would have to agree to a number of terms that are mentioned in the article:
Under the agreement brokered by the Commerce Department, ZTE would pay a substantial fine, hire American compliance officers to be placed at the firm and make changes to its current management team.
Unsurprisingly, not everyone is happy about this idea. Lifting the ban would allow ZTE to work with American companies like Qualcomm again, but it would no doubt raise fresh security concerns in regard to sharing US technology with a Chinese company. The NY Times quoted Senator Chris Van Hollen’s objections:
ZTE presents a national security threat to the United States — and nothing in this reported deal addresses that fundamental fact.
It’s likely the issue will become mired in political disagreement over the foreseeable future as the Trump administration attempts to improve trade links with China on one hand whilst also trying to balance worries about the potential threat of state-sponsored industrial espionage on the other hand.