Former NTIA executive Angela Simpson named as Chinese vendor’s VP of U.S. government affairs.

ZTE has appointed a new executive to manage its dealings with the U.S. government, and as a former government employee, the newcomer brings some valuable insight to the role.

Angela Simpson will serve as vice president of U.S. government affairs for ZTE and, as the job title suggests, will take responsibility for managing the Chinese vendor’s relations with the government and its public policy matters.

Like domestic arch-rival Huawei, ZTE does not find it easy to do business in the U.S. It made headlines earlier this year when it was hit with a US$1.19 billion U.S. government fine for flouting rules regarding the shipment of network equipment Iran and North Korea.

The vendor accepted its wrongdoing and was subsequently removed from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s export black list.

At the time, ZTE chief executive Zhao Xianming said the company was "turning the page on a challenging chapter" in its existence. Tuesday’s announcement clearly forms part of its new chapter.

Angela Simpson served as deputy assistant secretary for the Department of Commerce, National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) for three years, up to January this year. She also held a variety of other roles at the NTIA.

Prior to becoming joining the NTIA, she spent three years as director of government affairs at business broadband provider Covad Communications.

"[Simpson’s] policy experience and knowledge of the technology industry make her an excellent choice to lead US government affairs for ZTE USA," said Lixin Cheng, chairman of ZTE USA.

"We are excited to have her join us as we continue to invest in local partnerships that will help us deliver innovative products and expand our presence in the U.S.," he said.