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Garuda Indonesia has issued an embargo on Vivo cell phones from its freighters after a pallet containing Y20 phones erupted in flames at Hong Kong International Airport.

Video footage taken on April 11 show the shipment of phones and associated accessories, which was bound for Bangkok, engulfed in flames on the tarmac. 

Vivo has launched an investigation into the fire as it’s still unclear if the fire was caused by phone or battery malfunction, or if it was due to logistics mishandling. Hong Kong Air Cargo, which was supposed to ship the phones, has announced a ban on all Vivo phones following the incident.

Indonesian flag carrier Garuda has also taken the same precaution, banning Vivo phones from all its cargo aircrafts while waiting for results of the investigation.

“We have temporarily suspended cargo shipment of a certain smartphone brand, following an cargo fire incident in Hong Kong involving the smartphones some time ago,” Garuda CEO Irfan Setiaputra said yesterday, without mentioning the Vivo brand by name.

China-based Vivo has yet to say if Garuda’s embargo would affect the supply of its products in Indonesia.

The embargo does not apply to passenger flights, which is welcome news for many Indonesians considering that the brand is one of the most popular in the country. The latest data on smartphone market share in Indonesia showed that Vivo topped the list with 24.1 percent, in large part due to its relatively affordable phones.

Read the latest news on Coconuts Jakarta

This article, Garuda suspends Vivo phones from cargo flights following Hong Kong airport fire, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia’s leading alternative media company.


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