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American courier FedEx is suing the U.S. Government over Huawei ban

The latest development in the Huawei vs. U.S. dispute has surfaced, and this time FedEx is involved. Fortune reports that the American courier company is bring legal action against the U.S. government after becoming tangled in the dispute—the lawsuit doesn’t specifically refer to Huawei by name, but it is likely that the Chinese telecommunications giant is involved in the complaint.

Basically, FedEx feels that the U.S. is essentially deputising them as a government asset—a journalist from PCMag’s shipment from the UK to the U.S. containing a Huawei device was recently blocked by them. Instead, the package was returned to the sender with a vague note explaining the “issue” between Huawei and the U.S. government.

In the lawsuit, FedEx complains that the government wants:

“FedEx to police the contents of the millions of packages it ships daily even though doing so is a virtually impossible task, logistically, economically, and in many cases, legally.”

“FedEx is a transportation company, not a law enforcement agency,”

The problem here stems from the U.S. Commerce Department listing Huawei on its foreign entity blacklist last month. Consequently, Huawei’s new status as a threat to national security means that American companies have to attain special permission to work with anyone on the list.

While FedEx admits that there isn’t a general policy against shipping Huawei’s products, only that they can’t do deliveries to any of Huawei’s affiliates on the list. However, the package sent by the PCMag journalist was sent from their UK office to their U.S. office—is PCMag considered to be an affiliate of Huawei?

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Strangely enough, FedEx’s regional Chief Operating Officer in Europe explained to PCMag that the package was returned because a FedEx employee noticed that the package contained a Huawei device, and had a “panic attack of sorts”.

An eye for an eye

China’s own Ministry of Commerce is now compiling an entity blacklist of their own, and the Global Times is reporting that FedEx will be among the first names on the list.

FedEx makes about 7% of its revenue from China-connected transactions, and with share prices dropping 31% in the past year. This, in this writer’s opinion, is possibly a contributory factor towards FedEx’s current lawsuit against the U.S. government.

After all, Huawei has accused FedEx of carrying a vendetta against the Chinese tech giant before. In May, FedEx also rerouted 4 packages that were being delivered to Huawei’s headquarters in Shenzhen—they claimed that it was a mistake, but who really knows?

[ VIA ]