Report: Apple Suppliers in China Linked to Uyghur Forced Labor

Tim Cook, Apple CEO, in China
NG HAN GUAN /Getty

A new report alleges that seven Apple suppliers may have used forced Uyghur labor in China. An Apple spokesperson claims, “We will continue doing all we can to protect workers and ensure they are treated with dignity and respect.”

According to a recent report from the Information, several Apple suppliers have allegedly been using forced labor in China. The Information worked alongside two human rights groups to identify seven companies that supply products to Apple and allegedly support forced labor programs, including programs that targeted China’s Uyghur Muslim minority population.

Six of the seven suppliers were said to participate in work programs operated by the Chinese government. The Information states that according to human rights groups, workers can be jailed for refusing to join the work programs and those enrolled in the programs are often moved far away from their homes.

One supplies operated in Xinjiang, the region of China predominantly populated by Uyghur Muslims and where the worst human rights violations have reportedly taken place. The companies supplied Apple with various components including antennas, cables, and coatings, among other products.

An Apple spokesperson told the Information that it “found no evidence of forced labor anywhere we operate.” Apple said that it looks for forced labor as part of “every assessment” it conducts and does not work with suppliers that take part in such programs.

“We will continue doing all we can to protect workers and ensure they are treated with dignity and respect,” the Apple spokesperson said. The use of forced labor has become a major issue for the tech community, where many components and products are produced overseas in China.

In January, the Trump administration said that China has “committed genocide against the predominantly Muslim Uyghurs and other ethnic and religious minority groups in Xinjiang.”

This is not the first time that Apple has been accused of using forced labor, in December of last year it was reported that the company had dealt with suppliers taking part in these programs.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or contact via secure email at the address lucasnolan@protonmail.com

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