After the U.S. Department of Commerce banned ZTE from importing US-made components, due to the company violating an agreement it made in 2017, ZTE shut down most operations while it fought to lift the ban. The Commerce Department told ZTE it had to pay over a billion dollars in fines and replace its entire senior leadership for the ban to be lifted, which ZTE agreed to last month.
Lifting the ban required ZTE to pay a $1.3 billion fine, as well as a $400 million escrow that is held for the next 10 years. If ZTE breaks the agreement at any point during that time, the $400 million automatically goes to the U.S. government, and the import ban goes back into effect. ZTE already paid the $1.3 billion last month.
According to Bloomberg, ZTE has now signed the escrow agreement with the U.S. Commerce Department. As soon as the company deposits the money, which is likely to happen tomorrow, the 10-year agreement will go into effect. The escrow monitor has not yet been selected.
— U.S. Commerce Dept. (@CommerceGov) July 11, 2018
The U.S. Commerce department also released a statement, saying, "The ZTE settlement represents the toughest penalty and strictest compliance regime the Department has ever imposed in such a case."