A US court ordered Chinese vendor ZTE to participate in a hearing on 14 March to face claims it may have violated the conditions of a probation period agreed as part of a settlement reached in 2017 for breaching trade sanctions.

In a statement, the company explained the hearing relates to an indictment of former ZTE research director Yu Jianjun in 2021 for allegedly conspiring to commit visa fraud.

Yu and a professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology were indicted for breaching visa requirements when bringing Chinese citizens to work in the US, Reuters reported.

ZTE has not been charged in the visa violation case. It stated Yu left the company “years ago”, adding at the time of the US announcement (3 March) no employee of the company had been charged in the visa case.

It pledged to “actively take all practicable next steps under the legal framework to properly handle the relevant matters”.

ZTE agreed in March 2017 to pay fines of up to $1.2 billion after pleading guilty to conspiring to violate US trade sanctions by shipping goods to Iran.

The deal was part of a settlement struck with the US Department of Justice following a five-year investigation.

In 2018, a US judge extended a compliance monitoring period from end-2020 to this month after finding breaches to the terms of probation.