Rumors, Rumors and more damn rumors. It appears that ZTE could be “back in business” after being consigned to the technological wasteland for breaking last year’s deal concerning illegal telecom shipments to Iran and North Korea.

As it stands, one of China’s leading telecommunication’s companies is banned from using suppliers in the United States for seven years, forcing the group to close down operations at its Shenzhen factory following the US Commerce Department ruling.

Since the decision came into force last month, President Donald Trump has appeared to open the door on a compromise after announcing on Twitter that he would help the group “get back into business.”

His tweet came just days before the Washington round of trade talks with China and was followed by a more detailed statement from Larry Kudlow, a senior economic adviser at the White House.

“If any of the remedies are altered they are still going to be very, very, tough, including big fines, compliance measures, new management, new boards,” he told CBS’ Face the Nation. “Do not expect ZTE to get off scot-free. Ain’t going to happen.”

What might “happen” is that ZTE will pay a US$1 billion fine, plus $400 million in escrow, an asset held by a third-party, to cover any future violations, according to a Reuters report.

Problems started to pile up for ZTE as soon as the US ruling highlighted how the company had violated a sanctions agreement involving illegal exports to Iran and North Korea.

At the weekend, the company is believed to have agreed to the plan although a “settlement” document has yet to be signed. On Tuesday, Commerce Department spokesman James Rockas confirmed that “no definitive agreement [had] been signed by both parties.”

Problems started to pile up for ZTE as soon as the US ruling highlighted how the company had violated a sanctions agreement involving illegal exports to Iran and North Korea.

Earlier, ZTE had pleaded guilty to the original charges, paying $892 million in fines.

Still, this latest chapter in the ongoing saga leaves key questions unanswered.

“If the US is truly going to make an example out of ZTE, the name itself is now toxic and cannot be used going forward,” Earl Lum, the President of EJL Wireless Research, a consultancy and research firm based in the US, said when the ban came into force.

“But to just shut the company down due to senior level management mistakes doesn’t make sense nor help the global telecom market,” he added.

While the details of last weekend’s deal have yet to be revealed, it is understood that ZTE has promised to replace its board and executive team in 30 days. “It would also allow unfettered site visits to verify that US components are being used as claimed by the company,” Reuters stated.

Yet this might not be enough to placate Washington. There has been strong opposition to breathing new life into ZTE from the US Congress, which has labeled the company a threat to “national security.”

“By letting ZTE off the hook, the president who roared like a lion is governing like a lamb when it comes to China,” Chuck Schumer, the US Senate Democratic leader, said in a statement. “Congress should move in a bipartisan fashion to block this deal right away.”

A quick fix is starting to look extremely unlikely.