Tuesday, October 26News That Matters

Tag: Uighurs (Chinese Ethnic Group)

Fashion Retailers Face Inquiry Over Suspected Ties to Forced Labor in China

Fashion Retailers Face Inquiry Over Suspected Ties to Forced Labor in China

Business
France’s antiterrorism prosecutor’s office has opened an investigation into four leading fashion retailers over suspicions that they benefited from and concealed “crimes against humanity” by using forced labor by Uyghurs in China.The investigation by the French prosecutors started last month following accusations that the four companies — Inditex, the owner of Zara; Uniqlo; Skechers; and SMCP, which owns brands like Sandro and Maje — had profited from human rights crimes in the Xinjiang region of China, a French judicial official confirmed on Friday.The inquiry follows an April lawsuit filed against the same four companies by human rights groups and a Uyghur woman who said she had been imprisoned in Xinjiang.The case points to questions faced by giant fashion retailers that source clothing...
U.S. Bans Chinese Imports of Solar Panel Materials Tied to Forced Labor

U.S. Bans Chinese Imports of Solar Panel Materials Tied to Forced Labor

Business
The import ban focuses on one company and not all polysilicon products from Xinjiang, but it could roil the market for solar panels in the United States. Hoshine and its subsidiaries supply at least some metallurgical-grade silicon to the world’s eight largest polysilicon producers, which together account for 90 percent of the global market, according to Johannes Bernreuter, a polysilicon market analyst at Bernreuter Research.Some U.S. solar companies had begun tracking and reshuffling their supply chains in anticipation of the administration’s move, but they may need to take additional steps to prove to customs officials that any imported panels do not contain material from Hoshine.Customs and Border Protection estimates that the United States had about $6 million in direct imports from H...
China Still Buys American DNA Equipment for Xinjiang Despite Blocks

China Still Buys American DNA Equipment for Xinjiang Despite Blocks

Technology
The police in the Chinese region of Xinjiang are still buying hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of American DNA equipment despite warnings from the U.S. government that the sale of such technologies could be used to enable human rights abuses in the region.The U.S. government has tried to prevent the sale of DNA sequencers, test kits and other products made by American firms to the police in Xinjiang for years, amid concerns raised by scientists and human rights groups that the authorities could use the tools to build systems to track people. In 2019, the Trump administration banned the sale of American goods to most law enforcement agencies in Xinjiang unless the companies received a license. And in 2020, Washington warned that companies selling biometric technology and other produc...
H&M and Other Brands Face Backlash From Chinese Consumers

H&M and Other Brands Face Backlash From Chinese Consumers

Business
Faced with accusations that it was profiting from the forced labor of Uyghur people in the Chinese territory of Xinjiang, the H&M Group — the world’s second-largest clothing retailer — promised last year to stop buying cotton from the region.But last month, H&M confronted a new outcry, this time from Chinese consumers who seized on the company’s renouncement of the cotton as an attack on China. Social media filled with angry demands for a boycott, urged on by the government. Global brands like H&M risked alienating a country of 1.4 billion people.The furor underscored how international clothing brands relying on Chinese materials and factories now face the mother of all conundrums — a conflict vastly more complex than their now-familiar reputational crises over exploitative wor...
China’s Outrage over Forced Labor Charges Targets H&M, Adidas and Nike

China’s Outrage over Forced Labor Charges Targets H&M, Adidas and Nike

Business
H&M faces a boycott. Tommy Hilfiger, Adidas, Nike, Converse and Calvin Klein have lost their brand ambassadors. Burberry has had to give up an online video game partnership.Western brands are suddenly feeling the wrath of the Chinese consumer, the very shoppers who for years have clamored for their products and paid them vast amounts of money. Egged on by the ruling Communist Party, Chinese online activists are punishing foreign companies who have joined a call to avoid using cotton produced in the Chinese region of Xinjiang, where the authorities are waging a broad campaign of repression against ethnic minorities.The sudden bout of rage lays bare the vulnerability of foreign companies as tensions worsen between China and the United States and other countries. Lawmakers in the United S...
H&M Faces a Boycott in China Over Statement on Uyghurs

H&M Faces a Boycott in China Over Statement on Uyghurs

Business
The fashion retailer H&M is facing a potential boycott in China after a statement the company made last year expressing deep concerns over reports of forced labor in Xinjiang stirred a social media storm this week.A similar statement from Nike was also attracting criticism on Wednesday, a sign that Western clothing manufacturers could face growing hostility in China for their public stances against forced labor in Xinjiang and for halting cotton sourcing from the region.The H&M statement, which can be found on the website of the Swedish retailer, was posted in September after growing global scrutiny around the use of Uyghurs in forced labor in Xinjiang.In it, H&M said that it was “deeply concerned by reports from civil society organizations and media that include accusations of...