Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS)

On November 19, 2018, the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) published an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) seeking comments on implementation of Section 1758 of the Export Control Reform Act of 2018. This section requires Commerce, in consultation with DoD and other CFIUS member agencies, to define “emerging technologies” sufficiently significant to U.S. national security interests to impose some level of export controls over the technology and potentially to trigger mandatory declarations of any foreign investment in companies involved in the development and production of such technology.

This ANPRM identifies certain broad categories of emerging technologies (largely consistent with technologies identified in the 2018 DIUx China Report) and seeks recommendations on defining specific technologies within these categories or others to control considering such factors as on the status of the technology development in the U.S. and other countries and the potential impact – pro or con – of such controls on U.S. technological superiority.

Comments are due by December 19, 2018; BIS will issue a separate ANPRM for “foundational technologies.”



On October 23, 2018, the Department of Commerce Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) published a notice seeking comments on imposing export control restrictions on electronic waste in response to concerns that unregulated recycling of electronic waste is a source of counterfeit goods. BIS has proposed to define electronic waste, prohibit electronic waste export, establish electronic waste exemptions, and require an export license to ship exempted electronic waste abroad. The Bureau is seeking public comment until December 24, 2018 on all aspects of the proposal including the definition, methods of tracking exported electronic waste, costs, and the likely effectiveness of the regulations.

In a July 13, 2018 press release, the Commerce Department announced it had lifted the denial order on Zhongxing Telecommunications Equipment Corporation, of Shenzhen, China (ZTE Corporation) and ZTE Kangxun Telecommunications Ltd. of Hi-New Shenzhen, China (ZTE Kangxun) (collectively, ZTE). Commerce took this action shortly after ZTE deposited $400 million in escrow at a U.S. bank to provide a form of security that ZTE will comply with its continuing obligations under the June 2018 superseding settlement agreement. The funds in escrow are in addition to the $1 billion paid to the U.S. Treasury last month.

According to the press release, the $1.4 billion paid under the 2018 settlement agreement is in addition to the $892 million in penalties ZTE paid to the U.S government under the original March 2017 settlement agreement. That agreement included a suspended denial order against the company, which the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) had activated on April 15, 2018.

The 2018 settlement agreement requires ZTE to retain a team of special compliance coordinators selected by and answerable to BIS for a period of 10 years. The June 2018 agreement again imposed a denial order that is suspended, this time for 10 years, and BIS can activate it in the event of additional violations during the ten-year probationary period. Pursuant to the 2018 agreement, ZTE has also replaced the entire board of directors and senior leadership for both entities.