Chinese factories for Apple, major shoes brands and other companies are avoiding workers from Xinjiang, as the United States vows to crack down on products that utilize forced labor.
The Wall Street Journal reported that Chinese suppliers are avoiding Uyghur workers from state-backed labor programs, as the West increasingly puts pressure on firms that utilize Chinese suppliers to eliminate forced labor from its supply chains.
Lens Technology Co. Ltd, a major Apple supplier of smartphone touch screens, has announced it will no longer hire Uyghur workers from government-run work programs. Apple has consistently denied that the particular products Lens Technology provided for the technology company was ever used for Apple products.
An estimated million members or more of the Uyghur ethnic minority are alleged to have been forced into slave labor and internment camps by the Chinese Community Party. The Chinese government is alleged to be using “labor transfer programs” to force Uyghurs from Xinjiang to be sent throughout the country as factory workers.
Washington has already banned cotton and various goods from Xinjiang, and backlisted multiple Chinese companies over the alleged mass-scale human rights violations. The Senate passed the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act by unanimous consent last week; the bill would ban importers from bringing goods produced by Xinjiang workers from state-run programs.
The Chinese government has denied all allegations of human rights abuses.