ZTE given a stay of execution

firing squadChinese phone maker ZTE has not been banned from the US market yet and has been given more time to co-operate with the authorities.

The US government has extended a reprieve to ZTE on tough export restrictions imposed on the Chinese smartphone maker in March for allegedly breaking sanctions against Iran.

The reprieve is until the end of August, the Commerce Department said on Monday.

The renewed Commerce Department license allows ZTE to continue exporting equipment containing US technology. The agency said in March that its first reprieve could be extended if the company cooperated with the government.

Experts had said US export restrictions were some of the toughest ever applied and would have caused disruption across ZTE’s sprawling global supply chain.

The restrictions would have banned US companies from exporting any technology to ZTE, software or equipment such as chips and processors made in the United States. The decision would also have prevented software makers from selling typical office applications like Microsoft Windows or providing updates.

But soon after imposing the restrictions in March, the agency offered the company a three-month relief from the restrictions, which was set to expire June 30. The Commerce Department announced the extension in a notice posted Monday.

In an emailed statement, ZTE Chairman Zhao Xianming said the extension shows that the company is improving its compliance and cooperating with the government’s investigation. The reprieve will allow ZTE to maintain its “relationships with hundreds of American companies and our continued investment in the U.S,” he said.