ZTE in China Shuffles Management Following Export Restrictions

ZTE Corp, based in China, in a routine shuffling of management, has replaced three top senior executives that were alleged to have been the signatories to the documents that were reported to show ZTE made efforts to dodge the sanctions placed on Iran.

A change in its personnel was made only weeks after the government of the U.S. released those documents and imposed tough restrictions on exports against the maker of telecom equipment.

The U.S. government since then has said it would be easing the new restrictions until June 30 and could ease them furthers if ZTE cooperates in fixing the matter.

On Tuesday, ZTE announced that it named Zhao Xianming its current CTO as its president, which was effective immediately. He replaced Shi Lirong, who was in the role for the past six years.

The company has also appointed seven new executive vice presidents. However, the list did not have Qiu Weizhao or Tian Wenguo both had served in those positions until the shake up on Tuesday.

Shi, Qiu and Tian, the only three dropped from the top management at ZTE, were the only three of the senior executives in the firm named in the documents the U.S. released last week.

The company has reshuffled its management each three years and changes are in line with the regular schedule of the company, said a spokesperson at ZTE Monday.

While the reshuffling at ZTE takes place frequently, a change in the high level is nearly certain to be related to the export restrictions placed by the U.S., said a industry insider in Hong Kong on Monday.

The insider added that ZTE of late has not done that well so adding the export restriction has made a bad situation even worse.

Shi, the outgoing president, has been at that post for six years. Tian was an EVP since 2005, while Qiu was one since 2007.

Their terms, all three-year periods, were due to come to an end at the end of March showed a filing by ZTE in late 2015.

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