ZTE moves another step closer to actual US ban reversal with appointment of new chairman
As hard as President Trump may have tried to help ZTE “get back into business, fast”, it’s still not that simple for the controversial Chinese maker of mobile phones and telecommunications equipment to resume normal operations.
For what it’s worth, the embattled company seems willing to do whatever it takes to be permitted to collaborate with the likes of Qualcomm, Dolby, Corning and Google again. That includes paying the US Department of Commerce a whopping $1 billion fine (in addition to taking a big market valuation hit), as well as agreeing to the strictest possible monitoring conditions, putting another $400 million in escrow for potential future penalties, and perhaps most importantly, electing a new board of directors.
As requested by the US government, former Chairman Yin Yimin is officially out, along with his entire board and senior management team. 54-year-old Li Zixue will be replacing the March 2017-appointed skipper of ZTE Corporation, securing the high-profile but also high-pressure position after being nominated by Zhongxingxin.
The state-owned entity that you should probably not attempt to pronounce while anyone’s watching has a 30.34 percent stake in ZTE, also getting Cai Manli and Yuming Bao elected to the new board. The next step in the Chinese tech giant’s compliance proceedings with the US Commerce deal is hiring a number of people “embedded” by the latter into the company to “monitor it going forward.” Afterwards, Trump just needs to reach an agreement with a suspicious Senate.