Chinese telecom equipment manufacturer ZTE Corp has admitted to violating US sanctions on Iran by selling its technology to the Islamic republic.
ZTE pleaded guilty in a Texas court yesterday to conspiring to export American-made items to Iran without a license, obstructing justice, and making a material false statement.
The telecoms company has a US subsidiary in Richardson, Texas.
A five-year investigation into the Shenzhen-based firm found they had skirted around the sanctions by purchasing US components, incorporating them into ZTE equipment and illegally shipping them to Iran’s largest telco.
ZTE agreed to plead guilty last month after the US Department of Commerce took actions that threatened to cut off the company’s global supply chain as well as threaten up to $900 million in fines.
The equipment maker ultimately agreed to pay $892 million in fines and penalties but faces an additional $300 million in penalties if it fails to comply with the terms of its three-year probation under a deal reached with the US Department of Justice, the U.S. Department of Treasury and the Commerce Department.
A Texas judge will monitor the company over that period to ensure it meets its obligations