U.S. judge says China's ZTE violates probation; extends monitor's term

(Reuters) – A U.S. federal judge on Wednesday issued an order finding that China’s ZTE Corp violated probation imposed in March 2017 when the company pleaded guilty to illegally shipping goods to Iran despite U.S. sanctions.

FILE PHOTO: The logo of China’s ZTE Corp is seen on a building in Nanjing, Jiangsu province, China, April 19, 2018. REUTERS/Stringer/File Photo

In his order, U.S. District Judge Ed Kinkeade in Dallas extended until 2022 the term of a monitor he appointed to assess the telecommunication equipment maker’s compliance with U.S. export control laws. The monitorship originally was scheduled to end in 2020.

The probation violation cited by the judge was the same conduct the U.S. Department of Commerce penalized in April by imposing a ban on U.S. companies selling goods to ZTE.

The Commerce Department said ZTE made false statements about disciplining 35 employees involved in the illegal shipping of U.S.-origin goods to Iran.

The ban was lifted in July after ZTE reached a settlement with Commerce.

Reporting by Karen Freifeld; editing by Bill Berkrot

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