ZTE and the new era of distrust between China and the West

ZTE CEO Yin Yimin, flanked by company executives, speaks to the press on April 20, 2018, addressing U.S. sanctions
ZTE executives, including CEO Yin Yimin (C), hold a press conference to address U.S. sanctions on the company. A deal was later reached to avoid the ban (source: dpa)
  • The ZTE case was resolved because the stakes for both sides were high
  • The sanctions were viewed very differently in China and the U.S.
  • Conflicting ideas about technology and transparency will continue to produce tensions

After months of negotiations, a deal has been reached to bring ZTE Corp., one of China’s largest telecommunications companies, back from the dead.

ZTE closed its doors after the United States banned American suppliers from selling to the Chinese firm in April. The company was revealed to have broken a settlement with U.S. regulators over illegal equipment sales to Iran and North Korea.

The American sanctions against the company have become a major story line in China and the top Chinese priority in trade negotiations between the two countries. Now, after several rounds of talks, it seems ZTE will be allowed to resume business with its U.S. suppliers after paying a hefty fine

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