Chinese kit maker says it ‘turning a page on a challenging chapter’.

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry Security (BIS) on Wednesday removed ZTE from its export black list.

The decision comes after ZTE settled an investigation into its illegal shipments of network equipment to Iran and North Korea, agreeing to pay a $1.19 billion (€1.13 billion) fine.

"Today, ZTE is turning the page on a challenging chapter in our past and is optimistic of our future," said Zhao Xianming, who succeeded Shi Lirong as CEO of ZTE when the latter lost his job after the export scandal came to a head this time last year.

"By acknowledging the mistakes we made, taking responsibility for them, and remaining focused on enacting positive change in our company, we are committed to a ZTE that is fully compliant, healthy and trustworthy," Zhao said.

An investigation by U.S. authorities revealed that between January 2010 and April 2016, ZTE conspired to evade export controls on Iran via several shell companies. Shipped items included routers, microprocessors, and servers. When confronted with the accusations, ZTE falsely claimed to have halted shipments in March 2012. It then took measures to destroy evidence that it was still breaking the rules.

ZTE was also found to have made 283 shipments of controlled products to North Korea with knowledge that by doing so it was violating export rules.

As well as paying a huge fine, ZTE has also agreed to active audit and compliance requirements designed to prevent and detect future violations.

"With this settlement behind us – and coupled with recent efforts to streamline operations and grow ZTE’s innovative leadership around 5G – we anticipate continued growth and business expansion over the next several years as we continue to work with our partners in the U.S. and around the world," Zhao said.