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Apple vendors convicted of forced labor

UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — The authorities of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region – a region of China with a predominantly Muslim population – were suspected of involving Uyghurs in forced labor. They are forced to work in factories that produce products for dozens of global brands, including Apple, Google, Huawei, Lenovo, Xiaomi, as well as Bosch, Adidas, Calvin Klein, H&M and Zara.

About this writes Business Insider with reference to the report of the Australian Institute for Strategic Policy (ASPI). It says that the Chinese government, which persecutes residents of the region on a religious basis, in 2017-2019 forcibly resettled at least 80 thousand Uighurs in nine other provinces of the country.

They entered into mandatory contracts and forced to work in 27 factories associated with 83 well-known brands. According to ASPI, the Muslim minority is housed in separate dormitories, conducts ideological work with them, and is prohibited from conducting religious rites.

In four factories that produce components for Apple devices, at least 2,700 Uighurs are involved in the workforce, according to the Institute. Most work at Foxconn’s facilities in Zhengzhou, the city where more than half of all Apple smartphones gather.

One of the factories was visited by Apple CEO Tim Cook in 2017, ASPI noted. The factory was owned by O-Film and produced selfie cameras that were installed on the iPhone 8 and iPhone X. In a press release that O-Film recently removed, Cook allegedly praised his partner for a “humane approach to employees.”

“Apple is committed to ensuring that everyone in our supply chain is treated with the dignity and respect they deserve,” commented on Apple. “We are not familiar with this report, but we work closely with all suppliers to ensure that our high standards are met.”

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