Hong Kong/New York/Washington — The US department of commerce on Friday lifted a ban on US companies selling goods to ZTE, allowing China’s second-largest telecommunications equipment maker to resume business. The department removed the ban shortly after ZTE deposited $400m in a US bank escrow account as part of a settlement reached last month. The settlement also included a $1bn penalty that ZTE paid to the US Treasury in June. "The department will remain vigilant as we closely monitor ZTE’s actions to ensure compliance with all US laws and regulations," Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said in a statement that described the terms of the deal as the strictest ever imposed in such a case. The terms will allow the department to protect US national security, Ross said. On Friday, Senator Marco Rubio, a Republican, criticised the lifting of the ban. "ZTE should be put out of business. There is no ‘deal’ with a state-directed company that the Chinese government and Communist Party uses to...

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