ZTE to Pay $892 Million to U.S., Plead Guilty in Iran Sanctions Probe
Chinese telecommunications giant ZTE Corp has agreed to pay $892 million and plead guilty to violating US sanctions on Iran and obstructing a federal investigation, ending a five-year probe that has raised trade tensions between the US and China. The penalties, among the largest ever in a sanctions case, were imposed on ZTE for a six-year-long plan to obtain technology products from the US, incorporate them into ZTE equipment and ultimately ship the equipment to Iran, US officials said.
Still, the company avoided a more devastating outcome: a supply cutoff of US components, which the Commerce Department slapped on ZTE in March 2016, prompting the company to come forward to negotiate the eventual settlement, according to US authorities. The Commerce Department suspended the sanctions during the talks and, in conjunction with the settlement agreement, it will now move to fully remove them, officials said. Without key components such as Qualcomm Inc. processors for its smartphones, ZTE’s ability to produce some of its major products could have been crippled in a matter of months, putting it at risk of bankruptcy.
ZTE to Pay $892 Million to U.S., Plead Guilty in Iran Sanctions Probe Chinese firm ZTE to pay U.S. $892 million for breaking Iran sanctions (Associated Press) DOJ fines Iranian sanctions violator $900M (The Hill)