ZTE protests US penalty, says it is seeking solution

BEIJING (AP) -- ZTE Corp., one of China's biggest tech companies, says it is taking steps to comply with a ban on U.S. technology and is seeking a solution to an issue it says threatens its survival.

State-owned ZTE pleaded guilty in March 2017 and agreed to pay a $1.19 billion penalty for having shipped equipment to Iran and North Korea in violation of U.S. regulations. The company promised to discipline employees involved in the scheme, but the U.S. Commerce Department said last week that they were paid bonuses instead.

Last Monday, American authorities banned U.S. companies from selling technology to ZTE for seven years.

The company said Sunday in a statement on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange that since 2016, it has "learnt from its past experiences on export control compliance."