In their letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Senators Marco Rubio and Chris Van Hollen alerted about ZTE reportedly providing the Venezuelan government with a computer database which has components made by the US company Dell Technologies, South China Morning Post wrote.
‘ZTE installed data storage units built by Dell Technologies’, the Republican and Democratic senators wrote, since it looked like the transaction had been done with ZTE in China, it may have been in breach of US export controls by ‘misidentifying the end-user or purpose of the end-user’.
In September, Rubio and Van Hollen co-sponsored legislation to re-impose an earlier Commerce Department ban on ZTE if it violated terms of the agreement it had earlier struck with Washington by prohibiting the Chinese company from buying US-made components.
In April, the United States introduced a 7-year ban on ZTE for violating US sanctions on Iran and North Korea, making it impossible for the Chinese company to import phone parts from US companies.
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Furthermore, the US intelligence community and Congress warned of national security concerns involving products made by ZTE, which sells millions of phones in the United States.
ZTE denied that it did not take adequate corrective action and interpreted the ban as part of a broader push by the United States to stifle China’s tech ambition.
Shortly after the ban was introduced, President Trump weighed in on the issue, making clear his intent to work out a deal. As a result, a temporary ban lift was announced in July.
READ MORE: US Allows China’s ZTE to Resume Business Operations — Reports