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Chinese Executive Ousted By Trump Deal Says His Departure Is ‘Deeply Humiliating’

REUTERS/Bobby Yip

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Eric Lieberman Deputy Editor

A senior executive for a Chinese telecommunications company is stepping down after a reformed deal from the Trump administration, and is reportedly calling his departure “deeply humiliating.”

Zhang Zhenhui, a top official at ZTE, is being forced to leave after the company settled with the U.S. in June. ZTE would no longer be banned from supplying its services and products to America and other nations for seven years as long as the company agreed to pay $1.4 billion in penalties and replace all of its executives.

ZTE agreed at the time because it seemingly felt squeezed, unsure if it could maintain existence without the usually afforded massive markets and other partnerships. It originally had to come to heel because, according to the U.S. government, it violated an agreement which meant no business deals with Iran and North Korea.

Now, with corporate prospects looking brighter — ZTE almost shuttered without Qualcomm chips and (Google) Android software — those at the top who allegedly made menacing decisions have to essentially sacrifice themselves.

“In the environment of a Sino-US trade war, in the ‘white terror’ of a technology war, all executive presidents including me have signed termination contracts to formally leave the company yesterday,” Zhang wrote in a farewell letter, according to Reuters.

Zhang also took time to stick up for ZTE’s domestic rival Huawei, hoping that it could “straighten up its spine and face inevitable challenges in the future.” (RELATED: China Says The US Is ‘A Bully’ For Tech Sanctions)

Huawei is also being hit with aggressive rhetoric and restrictive measures from the U.S. after years of official warnings that, like ZTE, it engages in improper practices and made be tied to its paternalistic government’s surveillance arsenal.

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