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ZTE Gets Temporary Reprieve From U.S. Ban Over Iran Sanctions Violations

U.S. authorities are allowing China's ZTE Corp. to resume some business with American companies, temporarily easing a ban imposed over the telecom giant's export of sensitive technology to Iran and North Korea.

The Commerce Department's temporary reprieve for ZTE is set to run from July 2 through August 1, media reported on July 4.

The reprieve from the department's earlier ban on ZTE purchasing equipment from U.S. companies follows a deal negotiated by the White House in which ZTE agreed to pay another $1 billion fines and replace its executive team to settle charges that it violated U.S. sanctions against Iran and North Korea.

Under the reprieve, ZTE will be allowed to conduct business with American companies to maintain existing telecom networks and mobile phones and to support security features, according to the department's order.

The reprieve comes as ZTE announced the departure of a senior executive in a stock-exchange filing, in what appeared to be a move to comply with its agreement to shake up its management.

The company, which is headquartered in China's southern city of Shenzhen, suspended most operations after it was banned in April from buying U.S. technology and warned that the ban would put it out of business.

U.S. President Donald Trump negotiated a new deal, replacing the ban with additional fines in what he said was an effort to save the company from that fate.

ZTE previously pleaded guilty and agreed to pay a $1 billion penalty in March 2017 for having shipped equipment to Iran and North Korea in violation of U.S. sanctions.

The company at that time promised to discipline employees involved in the scheme, but the Commerce Department said they were paid bonuses instead, prompting the latest penalties.

Based on reporting by AP and Reuters