We don’t normally talk politics here on MEGATechNews, because we’re not a political site. That’s just not what we do and I’m nowhere near an expert on the subject. But when politics works its way into affecting our digital lifestyle, the conversation cannot be avoided. If you’ve been a fan of the “affordable premium” approach of ZTE, you have reason to celebrate. The ban has been lifted and it looks like ZTE is going to be just fine.

The United States Commerce Department has lifted the trade ban against ZTE that had prevented the Chinese company from buying American hardware (like Qualcomm chips) and software (like Android). That ban crippled the company so badly that we thought it was going to shut down for good.

In a rather strange twist of fate, it looks like President Trump came to their rescue. Even though his policies have generally been more protectionist in nature, putting America first as it were, he was also the one who said the ban would cost too many Chinese jobs. Go figure.

Realistically, this was all part of a bigger political play as it relates the trade deals between the United States and China. ZTE just ended up getting caught in the crossfire, though it certainly didn’t help its case by violating sanctions and failing to follow through on punishments doled.

To get back into the fray, ZTE has agreed to replace its board of directors, pay a $1 billion fine, maintain a compliance team for a decade, and put $400 million in escrow in case they screw up again. Aside from the compliance team, they’ve already done all of that now so I guess they can get back into the business of making and selling cheap tablets and affordable premium smartphones to the global marketplace.

Naturally, not everyone is happy about it, including several Republicans. And even though this case is specific to ZTE, we’ve got to wonder what the long-term ramifications will be for other Chinese companies like Huawei, Lenovo, Xiaomi and others.

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