U.S. grants ZTE another 90-day stay of export restrictions

The U.S. Commerce Department has again reset the clock on ZTE's Temporary General License (TGL) to continue using U.S. technology in communications systems it exports to other countries. The Chinese communications equipment firm is attempting to mend fences with the Department of Commerce after being accused this past March of exporting communications systems to Iran that contained U.S. technology covered by an economic embargo on the Middle Eastern country.

The U.S. Commerce Department has again reset the clock on ZTE's Temporary General License (TGL) to continue using U.S. technology in communications systems it exports to other countries. The Chinese communications equipment firm is attempting to mend fences with the Department of Commerce after being accused this past March of exporting communications systems to Iran that contained U.S. technology covered by an economic embargo on the Middle Eastern country (see "ZTE faces export sanctions from US Department of Commerce").

The Department of Commerce added ZTE to its "Entity List" in March, which meant that no U.S. communications technology suppliers could sell their products to ZTE in light of the charges (including optical components and subsystems vendors; see "Optical component suppliers brace for ZTE export ban effects"). However, it agreed to suspend enforcement of the decree for 30 days as ZTE worked to bring its technology export practices in line with Department of Commerce guidelines. The grace period has now been extended three times since then (see, for example, "U.S. Commerce Dept. extends ZTE export ban reprieve").

The latest reprieve comes after ZTE announced it has named Matthew Bell as chief export compliance officer and legal counsel for ZTE USA, the company's U.S. subsidiary.

"I am very pleased to welcome Mr. Bell to ZTE," said Dr. Zhao Xianming, president and chairman of ZTE's board of directors, via the press release announcing the appointment. "His appointment reflects our commitment to further strengthening our international compliance program in order to ensure it is robust, best-in-class and not only meets but exceeds the requirements under applicable laws and regulations in all global markets."

Meanwhile, ZTE continues to hope to regain the good graces of the U.S. Government. "We are encouraged as a result of the extension of the Temporary General License (TGL) for another 90 days," said the company in a statement. "We are working toward resolving the investigation, which will include both removal from the Entity List as well as conclusion of the investigation. ZTE will be committed to working with the U.S. Government to achieve a timely resolution."

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