US extends ZTE trade reprieve

US dollarThe US government appears to be allowing ZTE a further extension to its export freedom until the end of November.

In March, the US Commerce Department hit the company with some of the toughest-ever US export restrictions for allegedly breaking sanctions against Iran. The agency offered the company a three-month relief from the restrictions, which was later extended to Augugst 30.

The plan by ZTE  involved setting up several shell companies “to illicitly re-export controlled items to Iran in violation of U.S. export control laws,” according to a U.S. Commerce Department notice to be published Tuesday.

The restrictions were so severe that they not only would prevent ZTE entering the US, they would also cause extreme difficulty when it comes to using compontents made by US companies.

In a report to the Hong Kong stockmarket, ZTE said it would continue to cooperate with relevant US government departments to reach a final solution on the matter.  It is not clear how much choice it has.