FILE PHOTO: A Federal Express truck goes down a highway in San Diego, California August 22, 2014. REUTERS / Mike Blake FedEx Corp has apologize for returning a package that the sender said contained a Huawei smartphone owed to an "operational" operation. error "as it seems to comply with US restrictions on business with China's Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd.
The error came less than a month after FedEx apologized for misdirecting packages shipped between Huawei offices. The telecoms machine subsequently said it would Review the relationship with the US shipping company, while Chinese state media said the authorities investigated the case.
Weeks earlier, Huawei was placed on the United States so-called Entity List, which means US companies must apply for a special permit to do business with related companies. The government considers Huawei a security risk due to Chinese law requiring domestic companies to comply with intelligence work.
Huawei had invoked US affiliates to supply network equipment and smart phone components and software.
On Friday, PC Magazine said that FedEx had returned down a Huawei phone that the US publication had sent from the UK to the United States.
In response to a request from Reuters, FedEx said on Sunday that it "can accept and transport all Huawei products except for transfers to listed Huawei devices on the US Entity List."
A FedEx spokeswoman confirmed that the package the question was tied to the US but refused to disclose the content.
Huawei Sunday tweeted it was not within FedEx's right to prevent delivery and said the courier had a "vendetta".
On Monday, China's Foreign Ministry said FedEx should provide a proper explanation. Beijing News, the municipal government newspaper, in an editorial said US companies should be "rational" and not overreach or misinterpret the US Entity List.
The list expanded on Friday with the addition of several Chinese companies and a state-owned institute involved in supercomputing with military applications.
The incident triggered renewed criticism of FedEx on Chinese social media, with the theme "FedEx regret again" trending on Weibo, China's Twitter-like microblog platform. 1
Neither China's Ministry of Commerce nor FedEx responded to Reuters' request for comment on the likelihood of FedEx being added to the list. State news agency Xinhua earlier said the government's investigation of FedEx deceptive Huawei packages was not to be considered retaliation.
FedEx operational errors are due to increasing tensions between the world's two largest economies. The United States and China have been engaged in a trade battle for nearly a year on issues such as tariffs, subsidies, technology, regulations and network security.
A phone call between US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi JinPing last week, as well as confirmation the two will meet in Japan on the sidelines of a group of 20 summit, has revived hope for a detente.
(Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru, Caroline Stauffer in Chicago and Sijia Jiang in Hong Kong; Further Reporting by Huizhong Wu in Beijing; Editing by Marguerita Choy and Christopher Cushing)