16:50 GMT +319 December 2018
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    This picture taken on May 3, 2018 shows the ZTE logo on an office building in Shanghai

    Trump Mulls $1.3 Billion Fine for China's ZTE Telecom Giant

    © AFP 2018 / Johannes EISELE
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - US President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that he envisions a deal that would see a huge fine of $1.3 billion and new management for Chinese company Zhongxing Telecommunications Equipment (ZTE).

    "What I envision is a very large fine of more than $1 billion. Could be $1.3 billion. I envision a new management, a new board and very, very strict security rules," Trump told reporters at the White House.

    In April, the Trump administration banned US firms from selling telecommunications equipment to China's state-owned ZTE over suspicions that it might have supplied equipment to Iran and North Korea. ZTE called the decision unfair and vowed to protect its rights.

    However, ZTE agreed last year to pay $1.19 billion in penalties for alleged illegally shipping telecommunications equipment to Iran and DPRK.

    Meanwhile, the US Department of Defense said earlier that it would ban the sale of phones manufactured by ZTE at its military bases around the world due to concerns that Beijing allegedly could hack into phones for intelligence-gathering purposes.

    On May 13, US President Donald Trump wrote on Twitter that he was working with Chinese President Xi Jinping to let ZTE "get back into business, fast."

    Earlier on Tuesday, US media reported that both countries may reach the deal on this issue that would see Washington lift its ban.

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    Tags:
    management, fine, concerns, restrictions, security, ban, ZTE, Donald Trump, China, United States
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