ZTE receives temporary export restrictions reprieve

The U.S. Department of Commerce's Bureau of Industry and Security has granted a temporary reprieve of the export restrictions it imposed on ZTE Corp. March 8 (see "ZTE faces export sanctions from US Department of Commerce") for selling communications equipment with banned U.S. technology to Iran. The stay, which runs until June 30, 2016, could be extended if the Department feels ZTE Corp. and ZTE Kangxun "are timely performing their undertakings to the U.S. Government and otherwise cooperating with the U.S. Government in resolving the matter."

The U.S. Department of Commerce's Bureau of Industry and Security has granted a temporary reprieve of the export restrictions it imposed on ZTE Corp. March 8 (see "ZTE faces export sanctions from US Department of Commerce") for selling communications equipment with banned U.S. technology to Iran. The stay, which runs until June 30, 2016, could be extended if the Department feels ZTE Corp. and ZTE Kangxun "are timely performing their undertakings to the U.S. Government and otherwise cooperating with the U.S. Government in resolving the matter."

The Department of Commerce added ZTE Corp., Chinese affiliates ZTE Kangxun Telecommunications Ltd and Beijing 8-Star, and ZTE Parsian of Iran to the "Entity List," a list of companies believed to represent a threat to U.S. security. Parties wishing to supply U.S.-made technology to such companies must apply for a special license; the Department made it clear that requests for such licenses likely would be turned down.

The companies made the list when the Department determined that ZTE had sold communications equipment to Iran that contained U.S.-made technology that were banned from sale to the Middle Eastern country as part of a trade embargo.

Several optical communications technology vendors are among the suppliers potentially affected (see "Optical component suppliers brace for ZTE export ban effects").

The newly granted Temporary General License more or less enables business as usual for companies that had been supplying ZTE with communications technology. ZTE has been negotiating with the Department of Commerce regarding its relationship with Iran and supply of communications technology there. The Temporary General License provides the Chinese company more time to complete these negotiations.

"ZTE has committed to, and fully expects to, fulfill all of the commitments in order to be removed permanently from the Entity List," the company said in a statement issued March 23. "This interim relief will enable ZTE to continue serving its major stakeholders as it works with the U.S. authorities to reach a permanent resolution. ZTE is fully committed to complying with the laws and regulations in the jurisdictions in which it operates, and will be continuing to make further contributions to global telecoms industry."

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