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Trump reveals possible US return for ZTE

(Image credit: Image Credit: ZTE)

The Trump administration (opens in new tab) has reportedly reached a deal that would keep the Chinese telecom firm ZTE in business and clear the way for further trade talks with China according to a person familiar with the matter. 

The potential agreement brokered by the Commerce Department would see ZTE pay a substantial fine, make significant changes to its current management team and hire American compliance officers who would be placed at the firm. 

In exchange, the Commerce Department would then lift the denial order that is currently preventing the company from buying American products. 

President Trump took to Twitter to confirm the news, saying: 

“Senator Schumer and Obama Administration let phone company ZTE flourish with no security checks. I closed it down then let it reopen with high level security guarantees, change of management and board, must purchase U.S. parts and pay a $1.3 Billion fine.”   

Under the deal, ZTE would once again be able to do business with American companies including its primary supplier, the chipmaker Qualcomm (opens in new tab). The Chinese firm was banned from buying American technology components after it was found to have violated US sanctions against Iran and North Korea. 

The fate of ZTE has become a hurdle in trade negotiations between the US and China and President Trump ordered the Commerce Department to re-examine ZTE's penalty after receiving a personal request from Chinese President XI Jinping (opens in new tab)

If the deal does go through, both countries stand to benefit with China avoiding the embarrassment of ZTE's collapse while the US would receive trade concessions which include the purchases of American energy and agriculture products. 

Image Credit: ZTE

After getting his start at ITProPortal and then working with the TechRadar Pro team for the last several years, Anthony is now the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches to how to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. When not writing, you can find him tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.