May 29, 2019 2:30 PM, EDT

FedEx Practice of Diverting Delivery of Huawei Parcels Called a Political Ploy

China Smartphones stand on display at a Huawei Technologies Co. store in Shenzhen, China. (Qilai Shen/Bloomberg News)

FedEx Corp.’s reported practice of rerouting Huawei parcels to the United States without the Chinese company’s authorization demonstrates that the U.S. government is leaving no stone unturned to disrupt normal business activities, analysts said May 28.

Such a move, if not properly explained, could harm the image of the U.S. companies involved, disrupt trust in cross-border business co-operation and further undermine the U.S. 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.

FedEx ranks No. 2 on the Transport Topics Top 100 list of for-hire carriers in North America.

Bai Ming, a senior researcher at the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Co-operation, said it is really odd for FedEx, the U.S. package delivery company, to misdeliver Huawei’s parcels, especially when the U.S. 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.”

FedEx Truck

Christopher Lee/Bloomberg News

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

“The U.S. 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 U.S. 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 the company said only contained documents and no technology. China’s State Postal Bureau also confirmed to China Daily on May 28 that it is investigating the issue.


(Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg News)

FedEx’s China branch said May 28 in a post on Chinese social media platform Weibo that the company regrets that this isolated number of Huawei packages was 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 U.S. move of blacklisting Huawei already is 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 U.S. delivery firm’s services, on concerns that their parcels may be intercepted by a third party,” Xiang said. “It is harming trust in normal business activities.”

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC