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FedEx is 'harming image' by diverting packages

By Ma Si | China Daily | Updated: 2019-05-29 07:01
"If the FedEx issue cannot be explained properly, many Chinese companies will worry about using the US delivery firm's services, on concerns that their parcels may be intercepted by a third party. It is harming trust in normal business activities. [Photo/IC]

The FedEx Corp's reported practice of rerouting Huawei parcels to the United States without the Chinese company's authorization demonstrates that the US government is leaving no stone unturned to disrupt normal business activities, analysts said on Tuesday.

Such a move, if not properly explained, could harm the image of the US companies involved, disrupt trust in cross-border business cooperation and further undermine the US government's credibility in keeping companies independent, they said.

The comments came after media reported that FedEx, without detailed explanation, diverted two parcels destined for Huawei addresses in Asia to the United States and attempted to reroute two others.

Bai Ming, a senior researcher at the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation, said it is really odd for FedEx, the US package delivery company, to misdeliver Huawei's parcels, especially when the US government is banning the Chinese tech company.

"That's not one parcel but four separate parcels involved. It is hard to be seen as an isolated issue," Bai said. "It is more like that some political forces are trying to get Huawei's parcels from FedEx, which, if true, is a clear violation of Huawei's rights and interests."

The US government has banned Huawei from accessing any US technologies without special approval, accusing the company of posing risks to its national security. Huawei has repeatedly denied the accusations and said these charges were not supported by any factual evidence.

"The US government is using political forces to pressure companies from doing businesses with Huawei. If FedEx could not provide detailed and proper explanation for the misdeliveries, we could suspect that the US government is behind the incident and using underhand methods," Bai said.

Huawei said it has lodged a formal complaint with China's postal regulator about FedEx's misdeliveries of its parcels which it said only contained documents and no technology. China's State Postal Bureau also confirmed to China Daily on Tuesday that it is investigating the issue.

FedEx's China branch said on Tuesday in a post on Chinese social media platform Weibo that the company regrets that this isolated number of Huawei packages were inadvertently misrouted, and confirms that "we were not requested by any external party to divert these packages which are in the process of being returned to the shippers."

Xiang Ligang, director-general of telecom industry association Information Consumption Alliance, said the US move of blacklisting Huawei is already disrupting the global tech industry chain, and a string of suppliers whose revenue is heavily reliant on Huawei stopped providing technical support or selling components to the Chinese company.

"If the FedEx issue cannot be explained properly, many Chinese companies will worry about using the US delivery firm's services, on concerns that their parcels may be intercepted by a third party. It is harming trust in normal business activities," Xiang said.

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