The Trump administration announced this week that U.S. companies may engage in a limited number of activities with a Chinese telecommunications company hit with sanctions earlier this year in a long-running case over the company’s violation of U.S. export controls.
Specifically, the Bureau of Industry and Security has authorized the following activities involving Zhongxing Telecommunications Equipment Corporation and ZTE Kangxun Telecommunications Ltd. (collectively, ZTE) from July 2 until Aug. 1 (subject to other provisions of the Export Administration Regulations).
- engagement in any transaction necessary to maintain and support any networks or equipment (including software updates or patches) subject to contracts and agreements executed between ZTE and third parties before April 15, 2018
- engagement in transactions necessary to provide service and support, including software updates or patches, to ZTE phones (limited to models available to the public on or before April 18)
- disclosure to ZTE of information regarding security vulnerabilities in items owned, possessed, or controlled by ZTE when related to the process of providing ongoing security research critical to maintaining the integrity and reliability of communications networks and equipment
- making payments to, or receiving payments from, ZTE for transactions and activities lawful pursuant to this authorization
BIS announced a seven-year ban on exports to ZTE in April but then in June said that ban would be lifted once ZTE pays $1 billion and places an additional $400 million in suspended penalty money in escrow.