By Dan Strumpf
A U.S. judge ordered ZTE Corp. to another two years of scrutiny by a court-appointed monitor, following the Chinese telecom giant’s violation of a settlement resolving charges that it dodged U.S. sanctions on Iran and North Korea.
Judge Ed Kinkeade, a U.S. federal judge based in Dallas, also gave the monitor additional powers to investigate ZTE’s /zigman2/quotes/205386796/delayed ZTCOY -3.62% behavior and police its compliance with U.S. export-control laws. The order extends the court-appointed monitor’s term to 2022 from 2020.
The order brings the powers of the court-appointed monitor, which has been policing ZTE since 2017, in line with that of a second compliance monitor picked by the Commerce Department earlier this year. The Wednesday order underscores the high level of scrutiny for ZTE in the wake of its near-death experience this summer after the Commerce Department slapped it with a devastating ban blocking U.S. companies from selling components to the Chinese firm.
The ban, later reversed by the Trump administration, shut down the Shenzhen-based telecom gear and smartphone maker for almost three months, provoking a backlash from the Chinese government and turning ZTE into a political football in the broadening trade dispute between Washington and Beijing.
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