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US Temporarily Lifts ZTE Ban

The US Commerce Department has temporarily permitted ZTE to resume certain business activities, as regulators consider lifting a seven-year ban recently imposed against the Chinese telco.

Whilst eased restrictions will only last until August 1st, as per Bloomberg ZTE is expected to be in full compliance with its agreement with the US, providing the chance its ban may be fully lifted.

Temporary lifting some sections of the ban has allowed ZTE to update phones and other equipment (e.g. deliver security patches).

The news follows over a $1 billion fine, now enabling ZTE to support its already deployed telco equipment.

As previously reported, last month the US Senate overwhelmingly voted to reinstate the ban on ZTE. Should the matter be stripped out, some commentators forecast ZTE may be operational again by the American summer.

The Senate’s vote comes despite personal involvement from US President Trump, who called for the inking of a deal allowing ZTE to be operational again.

Despite this, earlier this year several American intelligence chiefs – FBI, CIA, NSA – issued a warning against the use of Chinese-based telco services and equipment (e.g. ZTE and Huawei) citing national security risks.

The news follows Telstra’s recent decision to drop ZTE handsets. Despite this, ZTE has reportedly pitched to roll out Telstra’s 5G network.

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