Lloyd's List is part of Maritime Intelligence

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Maritime Insights & Intelligence Limited, registered in England and Wales with company number 13831625 and address c/o Hackwood Secretaries Limited, One Silk Street, London EC2Y 8HQ, United Kingdom. Lloyd’s List Intelligence is a trading name of Maritime Insights & Intelligence Limited. Lloyd’s is the registered trademark of the Society Incorporated by the Lloyd’s Act 1871 by the name of Lloyd’s.

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use. For high-quality copies or electronic reprints for distribution to colleagues or customers, please call UK support at +44 (0)20 3377 3996 / APAC support at +65 6508 2430

Printed By


China-run tanker shipping Russian oil hit by Houthis, US says

China-owned and -operated suezmax tanker was struck by Houthi missiles off Yemen, according to US Central Command

The oil tanker, which was headed to India, had stopped at a Russian oil exporting port before entering the Red Sea. The attack occurred just days after media reports that the Houthis had reached an agreement with China and Russia to ensure safe passage of vessels from those countries

A CHINESE oil tanker hauling Russian oil appears to have been hit by Houthi rockets near Yemen over the weekend, sparking questions over the rebel group’s alleged safe passage agreement with Beijing and Moscow.

The Houthis fired five anti-ship ballistic missiles at the Panama-flagged, 115,459 dwt ship Huang Pu (IMO: 9402469) on March 23 in the Red Sea, according to the US military’s Central Command.

The ship issued a distress call but did not request assistance.

US Central Command said the “Chinese-owned, Chinese-operated” tanker sustained only minimal damage, and a fire on board was extinguished within 30 minutes.

“No casualties were reported and the vessel resumed its course,” it said. “The Houthis attacked Huang Pu despite previously stating they would not attack Chinese vessels.”

Ship databases show the 2009-built Huang Pu’s registered owner is Hong Kong-based company Hera Gam Limited. Its technical and ISM manager is located in Zhoushan, China, while the beneficial owner is unknown.

Lloyd’s List vessel-tracking data shows the ship was broadcasting its entire crew as Chinese nationals via AIS signals, with its destination as India.

The vessel called at the Russian oil-exporting port of Ust-Luga from February 27 to 29, where its draft increased, indicating onward cargo was loaded, prior to entering the Suez Canal.

The incident comes days after Bloomberg reported that the Houthis held talks with representatives from China and Russia in Oman and agreed to ensure safe passage for vessels from the two countries in the Red Sea, in exchange for their political support on the international stage.

Mohammed al-Bukhaiti, a Houthi political leader, assured in a January interview with the Russian news outlet Izvestia that ships from China and Russia can safely navigate the shipping lanes around Yemen, provided they have no affiliations with Israel.

It is unclear why Huang Pu was attacked. However, the tanker had been previously owned by UK firm Union Maritime until late 2023, which had another ship attacked by the Houthis before.

The Houthi assault on shipping in the Red Sea initially targeted vessels associated with Israel, in retaliation for its military actions in Gaza. The targets were later expanded to British and American ships, after the two nations carried out air strikes on some military sites in Yemen.

But there have been several previous incidents of ships being assaulted by mistake because of outdated ownership information in databases.

Owing to China’s close ties with Iran and influence in the region, Chinese vessels have been considered safer assets when transiting the Red Sea. Highlighting Chinese identity in Automatic Identification System signals is also a commonly used tactic to reduce attack risks.

Some smaller Chinese carriers have even launched new Red Sea services after larger competitors withdrew from the market.


Related Content


  • Related Vessels
  • Related Companies
  • Related Places
  • UsernamePublicRestriction



    Ask The Analyst

    Please Note: You can also Click below Link for Ask the Analyst
    Ask The Analyst

    Your question has been successfully sent to the email address below and we will get back as soon as possible. my@email.address.

    All fields are required.

    Please make sure all fields are completed.

    Please make sure you have filled out all fields

    Please make sure you have filled out all fields

    Please enter a valid e-mail address

    Please enter a valid Phone Number

    Ask your question to our analysts