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ZTE may live, as Trump administration reportedly reaches deal to revive it

The deal would let the China-based phone maker do business with US companies again.

ZTE logo on a building, with a Don't Walk signal in the foreground.

ZTE has been grappling with a ban that forced it to shut down its major operating activities. As part of a new deal, the Commerce Department would lift the order. 

Wang Zhao/Getty Images

The Trump administration told lawmakers it reached a deal to keep Chinese phone maker ZTE in business, according to a report Friday in The New York Times

The deal, arranged by the Commerce Department, requires ZTE to pay a substantial fine, hire American compliance officers and change its management team, says the Times report, which cites an unnamed source familiar with the matter. The Commerce Department, in return, would lift an order that currently prevents ZTE from buying American products. 

ZTE, the fourth-largest smartphone maker in the US, has been dealing with the seven-year ban after the US government determined ZTE violated terms of a 2017 settlement by failing to properly reprimand employees involved with illegally shipping US equipment to Iran. The ban forced ZTE to shut down its "major operating activities." 

The Commerce Department's new deal would permit ZTE to once again do business with US companies, including chipmaker Qualcomm, a key supplier to ZTE

The White House and ZTE didn't immediately respond to requests for comment.