ZTE’s struggles with the U.S. government generally haven’t been as high-profile as fellow Chinese mobile giant Huawei, but the company has still had its share of issues in recent years. The latest wrinkle, first reported by NBC and later confirmed by The Wall Street Journal, finds it under investigation over bribery charges.
The issues stem from a 2017 settlement with the U.S. government, which found ZTE pleading guilty of violating U.S. sanctions on Iran. The company was hit with a hefty $892 million fine over accusations of shipping millions of dollars’ worth of equipment to the country over the course of around six years.
TechCrunch reached out to the Justice Department, which ultimately declined to comment. We’re still waiting for an official response from ZTE on this one. The company did, however issue a pretty generic statement to NBC, noting:
ZTE is fully committed to meeting its legal and compliance obligations. The top priority of the company’s leadership team is making ZTE a trusted and reliable business partner in the global marketplace, and the company is proud of the enormous progress it has made. Beyond this, it would not be appropriate for ZTE to comment.
Fair enough, I guess. The details of the deals being investigated are not yet clear, nor is the timeline. Though ZTE’s fine does not preclude the manufacturer from further investigation by the U.S. government, regardless of whether the actions took place before or after.