Trump to hit ZTE with $1.3 billion fine before it can operate in the US again

ZTE logo on a battery

Having slapped Chinese company ZTE with a denial order which significantly hampered its US operations, President Trump has said that the firm will pay a $1.3 billion fine and change its board and management in order to continue to operate within North America.

ZTE had complained that the denial order was unacceptable, and Trump has more recently indicated a desire to get the company "back into business". Now it seems that the president has come up with a deal that involves the Chinese telecoms firm not only making security guarantees, but also buying components from US companies.

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Trump has announced that a deal has been reached that would enable ZTE to operate in the US. Complaining that the Obama administration allowed the company to "flourish with no security checks", the president says that he "closed it down then let it reopen with high level security guarantees" as well as a "change of management and board".

In a pair of tweets, Trump said that ZTE would have to pay a large fine, and commit to buying components from American companies, while simultaneously criticizing the Democrats:

ZTE will view the deal as something of a lifeline, but the conditions that have been attached are a high price to pay.

Trump himself has used the ZTE incident to his own advantage, despite seeming to perform a 180 on his position. Having essentially forced the closure of the company's US operations after voicing concerns about national security, the president then talked about the number of American workers who relied on ZTE and the amount of money the company brought to the US economy. It was in this spirit that he announced his desire to get ZTE back up and running -- something that may now be on the verge of comping to fruition.

It remains to be seen how the deal will pan out, and the sketchy details still need to be padded out. It's not clear how the company will be forced to "purchase US parts and pay a $1.3 Billion fine", nor what sort of oversight would be in place to ensure ZTE continued to comply with the conditions.

Image credit: g0d4ather / Shutterstock

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