ZTE kicked out of the US

Seven-year ban

Chinese electronics giant ZTE has been effectively kicked out of the US for seven years after admitting to trading with North Korea and Iran.

The company’s initial guilty plea was met with up to $1.2 billion penalties and fines, along with the dismissal of four senior employees, along with more fallout for lower-level employees. As part of the initial agreement, ZTE was allowed to continue to work with U.S. companies, assuming it adhered to the rules laid out in the agreement. The DOC, however, contends that ZTE failed to significantly penalise those employees.

“ZTE made false statements to the U.S. Government when they were originally caught and put on the Entity List, made false statements during the reprieve it was given, and made false statements again during its probation”, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said in a statement provided to TechCrunch. “ZTE misled the Department of Commerce. Instead of reprimanding ZTE staff and senior management, ZTE rewarded them. This egregious behavior cannot be ignored.”

A senior department official said that the company “provided information  admitting that they had made false statements.”

The penalty is steep, given that US companies are believed to provide more than a quarter of the components used in ZTE telecom equipment and mobile devices. The list includes Qualcomm, which provides Snapdragon processors for the company’s flagship devices.

It is also happening as President Donald (Prince of Orange) Trump starts a trade war with China.  ZTE has also been repeatedly name-checked by US intelligence officials over spying concerns, along with Huawei. ZTE has managed to make more inroads with US carriers over the years, regularly showing up around fourth place in market share.

CCleaner Security Alert

A major Security Alert has been issued warning of malware contained in the installer of the free CCleaner system cleaning utility. Piriform, makers of CCleaner, have confirmed that the affected version is CCleaner 5.33, available from 15 August 2017 to 12 September 2017. Importantly, Piriform says the malware only affects Windows 32-bit users. If you’ve installed version 5.33, you should upgrade to the latest Version 5.34.6207 of CCleaner or newer. If you believe you’ve been infected, at present the only way to be sure of removing the infection is to do a Windows reinstall or restore from an unaffected backup.

The Division will be free to play this weekend

It’s free from September 14-17 and pre-loads open today.

Third-person shooter The Division will be free to play in its entirety this weekend. Running from September 14-17, the base game, including the campaign and Dark Zone, will open up to anyone curious enough to give Massive’s post-disaster romp in New York a late tour.


Access kicks off September 14th at 7 pm CEST and closes out September 17th at 10 pm CEST, but you’ll be able to pre-load in the Uplay client starting today at 6 pm CEST.


To give it a shot, see Ubi’s blog post for detailed information.