Bill introduced to ban government employees from using Huawei, ZTE products.

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Senators Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley will introduce a bill banning US officials from using projects from Chinese companies that have been deemed to be national security threats. In the past, Chinese companies such as Huawei and ZTE have been deemed to be national security threats.

The proposed legislation is named the “Countering Chinese Attempts at Snooping Act” and would prohibit federal employees from conducting official business through technology from companies deemed by the State Department to be under the control of the Chinese government.

If passed, the bill would also require the State Department to create a list of companies supported by the Chinese company that could pose a threat and be used to conduct espionage.

This proposed legislation comes one month after President Trump signed into law legislation that barred the use of federal funds to purchase equipment from Huawei and ZTE.

If you have any questions about export compliance or think it’s time to revisit your compliance program, contact experienced compliance attorney David Hsu for a no-cost consultation by/phone or text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

US investigating Chinese telecom giant ZTE for alleged bribery.

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While the news is dominated by the corona virus coverage, the US is investigating whether ZTE paid bribes to foreign officials to gain advantage in ZTE’s operations. ZTE is one of the largest Chinese telecommunications companies and are believed to be closely related to the Chinese Communist Party.

The bribes include allegations of bribery by ZTE in over 12 countries, including but not limited to Algeria, Liberia, Kenya and Zimbabwe.

These new legal issues come right after ZTE plead guilty 3 years ago for violating U.S. sanctions against Iran and North Korea. In 2017, ZTE plead guilty to violating U.S. sanctions, and resulted in ZTE paying a civil and criminal penalty and forfeiture of assets – a settlement costing ZTE over $1.19 billion dollars. ZTE’s probation ended

ZTE’s US headquarters are based in Richardson Texas with the company’s headquarters located in Shenzhen, Guangdong, China.

Huawei’s latest license extension cut in half by US government, 45 instead of 90 days.

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Since May of 2019, Huawei has been placed on the US entity list and therefore unable to conduct business with US companies. However, the Trump administration did permit companies to do business with Huawei through license extensions.

The most recent 90-day extension was granted in November 2019, allowing companies to do business with Huawei until the expiration of 90 days.

Last week, an 45-day extension was granted. After 45 days, and if no further extensions are granted, then American companies can no longer do business with Huawei.

Contact experienced export compliance attorney David Hsu by phone/text if you have any questions how the current prohibitions against Huawei and ZTE will impact your business. Email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

Federal Court rules against Huawei.

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Yesterday, a federal judge in Texas ruled in favor of the United States, concluding Congress acted within its powers by including contract prohibitions against ZTE and Huawei in the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act.

Also earlier this week, the government also charged Huwei and a couple of their subsidiaries with federal racketeering and conspiracy (RICO) charges to steal trade secrets from US companies.

The recent decision stems from a Huawei lawsuit filed in March 2019, in which they claim Section 889 of the National Defense Authorization Act was unconstitutional because it limited Huawei’s business in the US. Huawei’s main argument was the NDAA overbroad in restricting sales to Huawei and violated Huawei’s due process.

Contact experienced export compliance attorney David Hsu by phone/text if you have any questions how the current prohibitions against Huawei and ZTE will impact your business. Email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

FCC opens comment period regarding Huawei and ZTE’s risk to national security.

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In November of last year, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued a Report and Order preventing US service providers from using the Federal government’s $8.5 billion Universal Service Fund (USF) to buy telecommunications equipment and services from Chinese companies that may pose national security risks to the US. The Report and Order specifically names two Chinese-based companies: Huawei and ZTE.

Last week, the FCC opened a comment period to allow public comments about their initial determination that Huawei and ZTE pose a risk to national security. Comments are due on February 3rd and after the comment period, the FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau will release a public notice with their final decision.

In response to the FCC’s November Report and Order, Huawei filed a lawsuit in December in the US 5th Circuit claiming the order is unlawful and the FCC lacks authority to make national security designations.

If you would like to file a comment, please contact experienced trade and customs attorney David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, or dh@gjatradelaw.com.

Trump administration bars federal agencies from buying ZTE or Huawei technology.

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Last year, Congress passed the defense spending bill that included a provision barring all federal agencies from purchasing Huawei and ZTE equipment due to concerns Chinese technology contained within those devices may pose a national security concern.
One year later, the new prohibition will take effect August 13th – this prohibition also includes Chinese companies Hytera and Hikvision. Next year, federal conttractors will be subject to this prohibition, although waivers will be available to contractors on a case-by-case basis.
Huawei has challenged the ban in court but no decision has been made.

“Never Trump” letter denies Covington Partner of ZTE Monitorship

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As reported by the National Law Journal – Peter Lichtenbaum, co-chair of Covington & Burling’s international trade and finance practice was originally set to become the compliance monitor overseeing the US settlement with ZTE Corporation. However, federal officials rescinded the offer arter learning Mr. Lichtenbaum signed a “Never Trump” letter prior to the 2016 presidential election.

Instead, Roscoe Howard, former U.S. attorney in Washington and now a white-collar defense partner at Barnes & Thornburg will be compliance monitor.

As part of ZTE’s settlement with the US government, ZTE is required to retain a team of compliance coordinators monitored by the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security for a period of 10 years.

ZTE pays $400 million into escrow, BIS removes ZTE from denied persons list.

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ZTE Company Logo from Wikipedia/ZTE.com

This just in, ZTE has complied with the terms of their agreement and placed $400 million into escrow. As a result, the US Department of Commerce, Bureau of Industry Security has terminated the April 15, 2018 denial order and removed ZTE from the denied persons list. The full release from the US DOC, BIS website can be found here.

Here’s a listing of all previous ZTE posts on this blog:

ZTE and Commerce sign escrow agreement – denial ban is one step closer to being lifted.

ZTE Open for US Business – sort of and only until August 1, 2018.

ZTE deal is good to go – House bill does not include Senate language “undoing” ZTE deal.

ZTE pays $1 billion fine, $400k into escrow soon.

In-depth details of the ZTE deal.

Senate passes amendment to undo Trump’s ZTE deal.

Deal reached between the US and ZTE.

ZTE facing $1.7 billion penalty?

The real reason Trump is working to reverse the 7 year ZTE ban? To help U.S. companies!

CNBC reports the US and ZTE are working on alternatives to the denial order issued against ZTE back in April of this year.

ZTE estimated to lose $3.1 billion due to US sanctions (Bloomberg).

Deal reached to allow ZTE to purchase U.S. hardware and software?

ZTE may need to change management and board in order to access US suppliers.

ZTE report to the HKEX on the impact of the US denial order: “major operating activities of the Company have ceased”.

ZTE and Huawei banned for sale to US military personnel.

ZTE banned from purchasing US technology for 7 years.

 

 

 

ZTE and Commerce sign escrow agreement – denial ban is one step closer to being lifted.

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Earlier today, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced they had reached an escrow agreement with ZTE. As you are aware, in order to lift the denial ban put in place in April 2018 (and be authorized to purchase goods and services from US companies), ZTE must pay $1 billion dollar fine and place $400 million into an escrow account.

Commerce announced today an agreement was reached with ZTE. The next step is for ZTE to deposit the $400 million into the escrow account. Upon deposit, the Department of Commerce, Bureau of Industry and Security will lift the denial ban. According to the June 8, 2018 superseding order, ZTE has until September 8, 2018 to deposit the funds – based on today’s news it appears ZTE is on its way to lifting the denial ban.

If you are a supplier or ZTE vendor and have any questions about the denial ban, feel free to contact export compliance attorney, David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at dhsu@givensjohnston.com.

Check out my other ZTE posts:

ZTE Open for US Business – sort of and only until August 1, 2018.

ZTE deal is good to go – House bill does not include Senate language “undoing” ZTE deal.

ZTE pays $1 billion fine, $400k into escrow soon.

In-depth details of the ZTE deal.

Senate passes amendment to undo Trump’s ZTE deal.

Deal reached between the US and ZTE

ZTE facing $1.7 billion penalty?

The real reason Trump is working to reverse the 7 year ZTE ban? To help U.S. companies!

CNBC reports the US and ZTE are working on alternatives to the denial order issued against ZTE back in April of this year.

ZTE estimated to lose $3.1 billion due to US sanctions (Bloomberg).

Deal reached to allow ZTE to purchase U.S. hardware and software?

 

ZTE Open for US Business – sort of and only until August 1, 2018.

According to the US Department of Commerce, Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) website, ZTE has authorization by BIS for “Limited Service” from July 3rd – August 1st, 2018.

On July 3rd, BIS granted a limited authorization for all persons to engage in business with ZTE under the 4 following circumstances:

  1. Engagement with ZTE for all contracts entered into with ZTE before April 15, 2018.
  2. Engaging in the support, service, software updates and patches to ZTE phones.
  3. Disclosure to ZTE of information regarding security vulnerabilities in items owned, possessed or controlled by ZTE.
  4. Limited transfer of funds – can make or receive payments to and from ZTE if transactions are pursuant to this authorization.

The full text can be found here.

Any other transactions with ZTE are still subject to the denial order of April 15, 2018. The denial order is only lifted once ZTE pays the $400,000 into an escrow account. According to the superseding order that outlines the ZTE deal, ZTE has 90 days to pay the escrow funds (until September 6, 2018).

Check out my other ZTE-related blog posts:

ZTE deal is good to go – House bill does not include Senate language “undoing” ZTE deal.

In-depth details of the ZTE deal.

Senate passes amendment to undo Trump’s ZTE deal.

Deal reached between the US and ZTE.

ZTE facing $1.7 billion penalty?

The real reason Trump is working to reverse the 7 year ZTE ban? To help U.S. companies!

CNBC reports the US and ZTE are working on alternatives to the denial order issued against ZTE back in April of this year.

ZTE estimated to lose $3.1 billion due to US sanctions (Bloomberg).

Deal reached to allow ZTE to purchase U.S. hardware and software?

ZTE may need to change management and board in order to access US suppliers.

ZTE report to the HKEX on the impact of the US denial order: “major operating activities of the Company have ceased”.

ZTE and Huawei banned for sale to US military personnel.

ZTE banned from purchasing US technology for 7 years.

If you have any questions whether your company can start engaging with ZTE, call trade specialist David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com.