Monday, November 30, 2020

Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Other Mega-Corporations Profiting from Uyghur Slave Labor

11-30-2020 - The New York Times is reporting on the lobbying efforts of Apple, Nike, Coca-Cola, and a number of other US-based manufacturers to weaken the Xinjiang Forced Labor Bill. The bill is aimed at stopping China's human rights abuses, including forced slavery, against the Uyghur people in Xinjiang Region. The Uyghur are an ethnic and religious minority group in Northwest China. (The New York Times article can be read on their website by clicking here.)

According to a report by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) earlier this year, at least 82 mega-corporations, many based in the US, benefit from cheap raw materials produced by Uyghur in forced labor camps, and even use Uyghur slaves provided by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).  The ASPI estimates that the CCP has forced at least 80,000 Uyghurs into slavery. (The ASPI report can be read on their website by clicking here.)

Among the corporations benefiting from Uyghur slave labor, according to ASPI, include:
  • Abercrombie & Fitch
  • Adidas
  • Amazon
  • Apple
  • Calvin Klein
  • Cisco
  • Dell
  • Gap
  • Google
  • HP
  • L. L. Bean
  • Microsoft
  • Nike
  • Polo Ralph Lauren
  • Tommy Hilfiger
  • Victoria’s Secret
These corporations not only profit directly or indirectly from Uyghur slave labor, but many have actively lobbied to weaken legislation aimed at protecting the Uyghur. The New York Times article specifically calls out Apple, Nike, and Coca-Cola for their lobbying  efforts to water-down the legislation. 

It is also worth noting that many of these companies make social justice issues a major part of their brand identity, seeking to build favorable public opinion through political correctness and embracing movements such as Black Lives Matter. The hypocrisy of these corporations posing as social justice warriors while actually fighting legislation to end forced labor is staggering.  

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