Fedex probed for HK par­cel as un­rest con­tin­ues

Knife ship­ment is third in­ci­dent in­volv­ing US lo­gis­tics firm

Global Times US Edition - - BIZUPDATE -

US de­liv­ery com­pany Fedex al­legedly han­dled a pack­age that con­tained con­trolled knives that was bound for Hong Kong, once again vi­o­lat­ing Chi­nese law while it is still un­der for­mer in­ves­ti­ga­tion for gun de­liv­ery in China and “mis­rout­ing” Huawei’s parcels.

The com­pany’s lat­est al­leged vi­o­la­tion of the law comes at a sen­si­tive time, when Hong Kong has been dis­rupted by rad­i­cal ri­ot­ers for more than two months. This has put it un­der a harsh back­lash and crit­i­cism.

A Chi­nese main­land branch of Fedex al­legedly ac­cepted a par­cel that con­tained con­trolled knives des­tined for Hong Kong, a Xin­hua News Agency re­port said on Tues­day.

The re­port said the items had been con­fis­cated by the Chi­nese au­thor­i­ties and a probe was un­der­way. No fur­ther de­tails have been re­leased.

Chi­nese ex­perts said that one in­ci­dent has fol­lowed an­other, and Fedex has put it­self into a very dan­ger­ous po­si­tion. The US de­liv­ery com­pany was in­volved in the de­liv­ery of a gun, which is strictly for­bid­den in China, in Au­gust, and an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the mat­ter is in progress.

The com­pany also “mis­routed” parcels be­longed to Chi­nese telecom­mu­ni­ca­tion com­pany Huawei amid a US gov­ern­ment crack­down on the Chi­nese tech­nol­ogy gi­ant, which led Chi­nese au­thor­i­ties to open an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into it.

The in­ves­ti­ga­tion re­sult pub­lished on July 26 showed that the com­pany’s ex­pla­na­tion of “op­er­a­tional prob­lems” was not in ac­cord with the truth, and fur­ther probes were car­ried out.

Such ac­tions have led to calls to put Fedex on China’s un­re­li­able en­tity list, which is in the process of being rolled out. Un­der the mech­a­nism, China can black­list for­eign com­pa­nies on na­tional se­cu­rity grounds.

“While the probe into the in­ci­dent in Au­gust has not been fin­ished, the com­pany is again being put un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion for de­liv­er­ing knives that are sub­ject to con­trols, re­flect­ing sig­nif­i­cant loop­holes in Fedex’s cor­po­rate man­age­ment,” Zhao Xiaomin, an in­dus­try an­a­lyst, told the Global Times on Tues­day.

How­ever, it will take more de­tails from the probe to de­ter­mine whether the knives will be clas­si­fied as con­tra­band items or weapons, which will lead to dif­fer­ent con­se­quences, the an­a­lyst said.

“If the com­pany was en­gaged in de­liv­er­ing con­tra­band, it might be end up being fined, but if it de­liv­ered knives as weapons, it will face se­ri­ous con­se­quences in­clud­ing re­vok­ing its li­cense and los­ing the Chi­nese mar­ket for good,” Zhao said.

The par­cel’s des­ti­na­tion is very sen­si­tive at the mo­ment, as weeks-long protests have been rat­tling Hong Kong, dis­rupt­ing so­cial or­der and putting or­di­nary peo­ple into dan­ger. Anti-gov­ern­ment pro­test­ers have been es­ca­lat­ing vi­o­lence re­cently, as they in­ten­tion­ally aimed to at­tack and in­jure po­lice of­fi­cers.

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