New executives named at ZTE to comply with USA request

Thanks to President Trump Chinese smartphone manufacturer ZTE will soon be up and running again in the U.S

A departing senior executive at China's ZTE Corp (000063.SZ)(0763.HK), which is fighting a crippling USA supplier ban, said in a letter to staff on Friday that his departure amid a Sino-US trade war was "deeply humiliating".

The US banned ZTE from buying any American electronics parts after the company violated US trade laws by selling products to US-sanctioned Iran and North Korea, then covering it up and lying about it. Last week, the Shenzhen-based company appointed a new chairman as part of its agreement to clean house and pay a record US$1.4 billion (RM5.66 billion) fine to get back into business.

The company also agreed to pay a $1 billion penalty and put $400 million in an escrow account as part of the deal to resume business with US suppliers, which provide nearly a third of the components used in ZTE's equipment. Five executives, including Xu Huijun, Zhang Zhenhui, Pang Shengqing, Xiong Hui and Shao Weilin, have been removed from executive vice president posts.

ZTE declined to comment on the matter.

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In other executive appointments, Wang Xiyu will be ZTE's new chief technology officer, Yang Jianming is the new supply chain chief, Xie Junshi is to head up operations management, Wang Xiang will lead strategy and investment, and Xu Feng is in charge of the terminal department.

ZTE has been fighting for its survival since April, when it was banned from sourcing vital US components by the US Dept. of Commerce in after the Chinese vendor was found to have breached penalties imposed for sanctions violations.

It managed to avoid a 7-year supplier ban after reaching a settlement agreement with the United States in March 2017 that included a $1.2 billion fine.

The company will terminate employment contracts with former senior management, including a number of Executive Vice Presidents and Senior Vice Presidents by Thursday.

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