China’s ZTE faces new US Bribery Investigations on its operations

PHOTO: Lluis Gene / AFP - Getty Images

ZTE Corporation is one of the leading Chinese telecom equipment and systems manufacturers battling up for the same market space with other providers like Ericsson and Huawei Technologies.

Now, ZTE has been subjected to new US bribery Investigations centered on bribery of foreign officials to beautify the company’s operations worldwide.

Previously, ZTE paid over $900 million to settle its status with the US after it pleaded guilty to Investigations in 2017. The equipment manufacturer was reportedly purchasing US equipment, Incorporating it as ZTE’s , then shipping it to Iran and North Korea.

A year later the Trump administration banned US companies from trading with ZTE in a fashion similar to Huawei’s current ban.

However, the ban was lifted when ZTE paid a $1billion fine to the US treasury, and now, the equipment manufacturer is back to square 1 with new Investigations underway.

ZTE reportedly paid bribes to foreign officials in more than a dozen of countries including Algeria, Liberia, Zimbabwe, Kenya among others.

With Kenya as an example by NBC news, ZTE attracted question marks on how it won a 2009 bid to install landline telephone monitoring equipment for the Nation’s Intelligence service.

Leaked reports later showed that ZTE had paid bribes to top-ranking officials from the agency to win the supply deal according to WikiLeaks.

In 2016, Norway banned ZTE from the country’s investment ecosystem over corruption, and ZTE shares can never be purchased by the Norwegian fund since then.

ZTE being an underdog competitor to Huawei Technologies, its fate with US Investigations might see it face Huawei-like bans, and an entry on the current entity list.

Since May 2019, Huawei has been on the US entity list, and this has affected its worldwide operations including a delay in 5G tests in most countries since it’s ranked as a major equipment supplier.

If the ZTE investigations place it on a guilty plake, and granted an entry on the US entity list, then, ZTE could be banned in major countries plus its telecom equipment barred from usage by several telcos around the world.

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