FedEx Refused to Ship a Huawei Phone From the UK to the US

Jun 21, 2019
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Just when you thought things couldn’t get worse for Huawei, the universe (in this case the US) keeps finding creative ways to prove you wrong. It all started with the US Government imposing crippling sanctions on the company; ones that would prevent them from using technologies developed by any US-based firm. It was already impossible to buy a Huawei device in the US well before the ban. Today, in a dramatic turn of events, PCMag found out much to their dismay that one can’t even ship a Huawei smartphone from the UK to the US.

Related Huawei P30 Pro Sales Reach 16.5 Million Units in 6 Months; Still Less Than iPhone XR Shipments

PCMag’s UK office had the P30 Pro on hand, and the New York office needed it. The package left the UK via the Royal Mail system. FedEx got the package in the US, and five hours later it was on its way back to the UK with a note stating the US government action against Huawei as a reason for non-delivery. PCMag reached out to FedEx and the Royal Mail for comment and are yet to hear back.

The move sets a dangerous precedent for all Huawei existing Huawei smartphones that get shipped in and out of the US. Sure, they can’t be sold officially but there must be a fair number of them being sent by the company to product reviewers and influencers. Maybe this is a one-off instance and won’t happen again in the future. There are no legal grounds on which FedEx could refuse to ship the device, so it’ll be interesting to see how this pans out.

I don’t want to go all slippery slope, but actions such as this only pave the way for more restrictive behaviours by other government organizations.  It is entirely possible that a person with a Huawei phone can be stopped at the border simply for possessing the device. Yes, Huawei has engaged in shady practices and need to be investigated, but, at what point do we draw a line in the sand and say stop? I think now is about a good time as any.

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