- Apr 12, 2001
A report by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute think-tank has named Apple among 83 other major companies benefiting from the use of potentially abusive labor transfer programs.
The Chinese government has allegedly transferred thousands of Uyghur Muslims and other ethnic minorities from Xinjiang to factories across the country, implicating global supply chains.
The report estimates that at least 80,000 Uyghurs were transferred out of Xinjiang to work in factories across China between 2017 and 2019, some of whom were sent directly from "detention camps".
Transferred workers typically undergo organized Mandarin and ideological training outside working hours, are subject to constant surveillance and are forbidden from participating in religious observances. The Washington Post has corroborated the report's claims.
China has attracted international condemnation for its network of extrajudicial "re-education" internment camps in Xinjiang.
The report identifies four Chinese factories in Apple's supply chain which use Uyghur labor to make parts for Apple and its suppliers.
O-Film Technology Co., which supplied camera modules for iPhone 8 and iPhone X, and BOE Technology Group, a company set to become Apple's second-largest OLED screen supplier by 2021, both reportedly use Uyghur labor, either directly or through contractors. AirPods supplier GoerTek is also listed.
As many as 560 Xinjiang workers were transferred to factories in central Henan province, including to Foxconn Technology's Zhengzhou facility, which reportedly makes half of the world's iPhones.
Over the past decade, Foxconn has been marred by allegations of worker exploitation and even suicides, including recently at its Zhengzhou facility.
In 2019, Apple released a supplier responsibility progress report, stating that "we hold ourselves and our suppliers to the highest standards to ensure everyone is treated with dignity and respect".
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Article Link: Apple Implicated in New Report on Chinese Forced Labor