China's ZTE Co. Faces FBI Probe
Created: 2012-07-16 11:32 EST
The Chinese telecoms equipment company, ZTE is suspected of having illegally sold US computer parts to Iran.
If true they could face steep fines and restrictions on their US operations.
An affidavit seen on The Smoking Gun Dot Com reveals the FBI is probing a nine-figure export contract for violations. The document shows the company discussed covering up evidence of the illicit sale. If found guilty, ZTE would face a penalty of up-to twice the transaction value—about 240 million US dollars. They may also face restrictions on doing business in the US and jeopardize bids on overseas projects.
A recent profit warning from ZTE and news of the FBI probe sent shares down as much 17 percent in Hong Kong trade.
Adding to downward pressure on ZTE shares is an investigation by the European Union Commission on whether ZTE has accepted illegal subsidies from the Chinese government.