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ZTE releases official statement over Iran and North Korea violations
It was around three weeks ago that the US government concluded its investigation over ZTE’s involvement in illegal shipments of hardware to Iran and North Korea. The Chinese telecommunications company was ordered to pay a whopping $1.19 billion, and now, they’ve released an official statement over this scandal.
In case you missed it, the speculation started all the way back in 2012, when Reuters reported that ZTE was involved in providing hardware to Iran so that the state could spy on its citizens. Although the Chinese telecom equipment maker denied the charges, because the shipment of US-made technology to countries like Iran is strictly prohibited, the US government launched a formal investigation into the matter.
Fast-forward to 2017, and ZTE pleaded guilty and was ordered to pay $892 million in settlements for shipping $32 million worth of material to Iran illegally, and an additional $298 million for items shipped to North Korea. As a result, it was placed on a so-called trade blacklist in the US, but today, the US Commerce Department announced that it would remove the company’s name from that list.
As a result, ZTE was placed on a so-called trade blacklist, but today, the US Commerce Department announced that it would remove ZTE from that list.
The Commerce Department added, however, that it would impose severe restrictions on Shi Lirong, now a former CEO at the company. In the meantime, here is an official statement released by the current CEO:
Today, ZTE is turning the page on a challenging chapter in our past and is optimistic of our future. By acknowledging the mistakes we made, taking responsibility for them, and remaining focused on enacting positive change in our company, we are committed to a ZTE that is fully compliant, healthy and trustworthy. With this settlement behind us – and coupled with recent efforts to streamline operations and grow ZTE’s innovative leadership around 5G – we anticipate continued growth and business expansion over the next several years as we continue to work with our partners in the U.S. and around the world.
Though the scandal is settled for now, ZTE is one of the largest telecommunications companies in the world – if it wants to enter the US market (which is hard as it is), it must foster a better sense of accountability.
What are your thoughts on ZTE? Do you think consumers will forget and move on? Let us know what you think by leaving a comment below!