‘Unreliable entity’: China may blacklist FedEx amid Huawei row
US multinational courier delivery services company FedEx has apologized after failing to deliver a parcel that belonged to PC Magazine and contained a Huawei smartphone to the US . The incident, which is not the first of its kind to affect Huawei, was explained as an “operational mistake.”
PC Magazine tried to send a package with a Huawei P30 smartphone from Britain to the United States. Tracking services revealed the shipment was returned to London after it spent several hours in Indianapolis.
“The package in question was mistakenly returned to the shipper, and we apologize for this operational error,” a FedEx spokeswoman said.
The company also said it “can accept and transport all Huawei products except for any shipments to listed Huawei entities on the US Entity List.”
Following the incident, China’s technology giant Huawei tweeted it was not within FedEx’s right to prevent the delivery. It added that the courier had a “vendetta.”
China’s foreign ministry said on Monday that FedEx should offer a proper explanation.
The so-called ‘operational error’ comes less than a month after FedEx apologized for rerouting packages sent between offices of Huawei. Two packages containing “urgent documents” which were sent from Japan ended up being sent to the US. Huawei’s shipping agent blocked two more from Vietnam, which FedEx had also attempted to reroute. Huawei’s spokesman then said the incident had “undermined their confidence” in the US-based shipping company.
The latest incident has sparked renewed criticism of FedEx on Chinese social media. The topic ‘FedEx apologizes again’ was trending on China’s microblog platform Weibo.
China’s state-run newspaper the Global Times tweeted on Sunday that FedEx is likely to be added to the Chinese government’s upcoming ‘unreliable entities’ list of foreign firms, groups and individuals that harm the interests of Chinese companies.
Huawei has become an important point of conflict between the US and China as a part of the ongoing trade war. In May, the Trump administration added Huawei to the entity list effectively barring it from doing business with American companies which supply Huawei with necessary parts and technology. Google and Microsoft have suspended business with Huawei in order to conform to the US trade ban.
The US alleges that Huawei could be spying for the Chinese government, a claim which the company, along with the Chinese government, has repeatedly denied.