FedEx sorry over return of Huawei smartphone

By Zhang Hongpei Source:Global Times Published: 2019/6/23 21:33:40

Workers unload packages at the FedEx Express station in Nashville, Tennessee, US. Photo: IC

US FedEx Corp once again apologized for its "operational error" in not delivering a Huawei smartphone from the UK to a place in the US, according to a statement the company sent to the Global Times on Sunday.

"The package in question was mistakenly returned to the shipper, and we apologize for this operational error," FedEx said. FedEx can accept and transport all Huawei products except for any shipments to listed Huawei entities on the US Entity List.

The statement followed an incident involving a PC Magazine writer, Adam Smith, who tried to ship a Huawei P30 smartphone from a UK office to the US, and was surprised to find that it had been sent back a few days later.

According to tracking information provided by UK company Parcelforce and FedEx, the phone left London, flew to Indianapolis, spent about five hours in Indianapolis and was promptly returned to London on the same day, a PC Magazine article revealed on its website on Friday. 

FedExHelp later informed Smith by Twitter that "Huawei Technologies Co and 68 of its global affiliates were included on the 'Entity List' which sets out a list of entities that US companies are restricted from doing business with. My apologies for the inconvenience this has caused you."

The explanation is contradictory to FedEx's apology for its "operational error."

Huawei did not respond to a request for comment as of press time.

FedEx is obviously playing dumb, said Chinese electronics industry blogger named Kejiyu said on Sina Weibo on Sunday. "First denying, then apologizing. What kind of company operation is it?" 

This is not the first time that the US delivery firm has apologized for its "operational error," and many Chinese netizens will not accept FedEx's latest apology, noting that the company should be "blacklisted" in the Chinese market. "FedEx apologizes again" hit the top of the trending Weibo searches, with 75 million views as o press time.

"If an apology works, then what do we need the law for? It seems an apology has become a pass for behaving shamelessly," a netizen said.

In May, FedEx diverted two packages from Japan, addressed to Huawei China, to the US, and attempted to divert two more packages from Vietnam to Huawei offices to somewhere else in Asia - all without authorization, Reuters reported. The company apologized for the incidents but failed to make an impression on public opinion in China due to a lack of detailed explanation. Chinese authorities sent an inquiry letter to the US courier service earlier in June to probe its alleged misconduct in misrouting Huawei documents.

Yang Daqing, an expert with the China Federation of Logistics & Purchasing, told the Global Times, on Sunday, that "FedEx has a tacit understanding with the US government to block Huawei across the globe."

If the US courier service is willing to be another entity representing the US' bullying at the cost of losing its integrity and clients, then it will not only lose ground in the Chinese market, but the whole world as well, said Yang.

"It seems highly likely that FedEx will be added onto the 'unreliable entities list'," he noted.

The list was announced by China's Ministry of Commerce in May, which will target foreign firms and individuals that seriously undermine the legitimate interests of Chinese companies.

"In this sense, the US' waging trade war and its interrupting Huawei's normal business will finally result in the destruction of its own firms," said Yang.


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