Fedex probed for HK parcel as unrest continues
Knife shipment is third incident involving US logistics firm
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.