The US Department of Commerce is set to ease trade restrictions imposed on China’s ZTE, following “active” and “constructive” talks, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Citing an unnamed “senior Commerce Department official”, it was said that due to binding commitments ZTE has made, there is likely to be “temporary relief from some licensing requirements”.
But ZTE’s removal from the blacklist would be temporary, and contingent with it abiding by the commitments made to the US government.
Restrictions were imposed on ZTE following allegations the vendor had breached controls on the export of US technology to Iran, following an investigation dating back to 2012.
This meant that US-based suppliers to ZTE needed to apply for a licence before shipping equipment and parts to the Chinese company, which would generally be denied.
While the company works closely with some big US companies, for example with Qualcomm in the smartphone market, it also deals with a number of smaller companies, for which ZTE is a key customer.
A number of optical component vendors were impacted by the issue.