In addition to the phones it's known for in the US, ZTE makes network infrastructure equipment for carriers, cloud operations and long distance data transmission.
The US government has imposed a seven-year export ban on ZTE for repeated violation of trade laws.
After a five-year investigation into the company, ZTE pleaded guilty in a United States federal court in March 2017 to conspiracy to violate USA sanctions on Iran by illegally selling U.S. technology to the country.
The Department of Commerce has now determined ZTE made false statements to BIS in 2016, during settlement negotiations, and 2017, during the probationary period, related to senior employee disciplinary actions the company said it was taking or had already taken.
All this comes just as ZTE's financial performance was improving.
ZTE has paid $890 million in fines and could see another $300 million in potential penalties. Ltd. and Nokia Corp. ZTE won't be able to use Qualcomm's hardware or (perhaps more importantly) the brand for the next 7 years.
Prior to joining FCW, Johnson was a freelance technology journalist.
For all the latest news from the wireless networking and services sector, check out our dedicated Mobile content channel here on Light Reading.
The company pleaded guilty and paid $1.2billion in the settlement past year. Those parts are critical to growing ZTE's business, and analysts jumped to proclaim the end of China's second-largest maker of base stations, switches and network communications (Huawei is the largest). (NYSE: T). According to a report from Reuters at the time, security concerns were raised during the negotiations between Huawei and AT&T.
China's Ministry of Commerce said Tuesday, that it "will closely follow the developments" in the ZTE case.
But the measure will see the tech giant cut off from US Suppliers, and a general ban imposed in the United Kingdom which will see it miss out on billions of pounds worth of contracts as the United Kingdom infrastructure upgrades to 5G and full-fibre broadband services. The company has been banking on sales of next-generation 5G network equipment to become its new engine for growth, as 4G mobile operators start to upgrade their networks and 5G-enabled smartphones and tablets are expected to soon hit the market.
In the US, government agencies are already prohibited from using equipment made by ZTE as well as by Huawei due to the risk of back doors and other cyber-threats being built into the firmware of the devices.
Huawei and ZTE also supply a considerable portion of broadband modems deployed by U.S. and European ISPs.