ZTE Corp has agreed to pay $892 million and plead guilty to criminal charges for violating U.S. laws that restrict the sale of American-made technology to Iran and North Korea.
A five-year investigation found ZTE conspired to evade U.S. embargoes by buying U.S. components, incorporating them into ZTE equipment and illegally shipping them to Iran.
In addition, it was charged in connection with 283 shipments of telecommunications equipment to North Korea.
"ZTE acknowledges the mistakes it made, takes responsibility for them, and remains committed to positive change in the company," said Dr. Zhao Xianming, Chairman and CEO of ZTE Corporation. "Instituting new compliance-focused procedures and making significant personnel changes has been a top priority for the company. We have learned many lessons from this experience and will continue on our path of becoming a model for export compliance and management excellence. We are committed to a new ZTE, compliant, healthy and trustworthy."
The company's guilty pleas, which must be approved by a judge, will take place in U.S. District Court in Texas. The Shenzhen-based company has a U.S. subsidiary in Richardson, Texas.
ZTE has continued to do business with U.S. suppliers under a temporary general license that was extended several times, with the latest reprieve expiring March 29.
The company on Tuesday agreed to a seven-year suspended denial of export privileges, which could be activated if there are further violations. A denial order would bar the receipt of U.S. origin goods and technology.
ZTE also agreed to three years of probation, a compliance and ethics program, and a corporate monitor.