U.S. actions forced ZTE to drown in red ink last year

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2018 was a year that ZTE would like to forget. The problems started in April when the U.S. Commerce Department imposed an export ban against the company. This meant that ZTE could not obtain any software, hardware and components from U.S. companies. The ban nearly forced ZTE to shut down. Three months later, the U.S. announced a deal that saw ZTE pay $1 billion in fines, put $400 million in escrow as a down payment against future violations, and overhaul its board and executive team. The ban was put into place because the Commerce Department caught ZTE in a lie related to punishments that …

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