Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook has categorically denied the technology firm sources from Chinese companies that use Uyghur slave labor in its production lines. Last year, he was asked directly by Congress if he could “certify here today that your company does not use, and will never use, slave labor to manufacture your products?”
“The Information and human rights groups have found seven companies supplying device components, coatings and assembly services to Apple that are linked to alleged forced labor involving Uyghurs and other oppressed monitories in China,” the report reads. “At least five of those companies received thousands of Uyghur and other minority workers at specific factory sites or subsidiaries that did work for Apple, the investigation found.”
International human rights groups and the U.S. have charged China with genocide against more than 1 million Uyghurs. The minorities are sent to concentration camps, away from their homes, in many cases sterilized, and subjected to live and work in poverty, as a way for the Chinese Communist Party to “cleanse” them from their Islamic faith.
The Information, associated with other human rights groups, uncovered “previously unreported public statements, photos and videos by Chinese local government offices and state-run media” in China as well as with unnamed Apple employees, to back up their reporting.
In a statement to The Information, Apple said that “despite the restrictions of Covid-19, we undertook further investigations and found no evidence of forced labor anywhere we operate. We will continue doing all we can to protect workers and ensure they are treated with dignity and respect.”
Yet, Mr. Cook continually pushed back against Congress, lobbying to weaken a bill it was crafting preventing U.S. companies from using slave labor in China. Last December, in a separate report, the Tech Transparency Project found one of Apple’s most well-known iPhone suppliers was using forced Uyghur labor in its factories.
China became a key component in Apple’s supply chain in the 1990s and early 2000s because of the country’s vast number of low-cost laborers. Apple seems willing to overlook China’s on-going human rights violations in order to have access to this cost-effective manufacturing base and the country’s 1.4 billion consumers.
Apple has a history of cowering to the CCP.
In 2019, Apple removed HKmap.live, an application pro-Democracy protesters in Hong Kong were using to track police, from its app store. Wired reported around the same time that “Apple began hiding the Taiwan flag from users in Hong Kong and Macau,” reinforcing the CCP’s “One-China” policy. Additionally, Apple told some of its television producers to avoid portraying China in a negative light in their productions, as to not anger the CCP, BuzzFeed News detailed.
Moreover, to comply with CCP, Apple removed The New York Times and other private networks from its Chinese App store and began storing Chinese iCloud accounts in China, “making it easier for the government to potentially obtain information on its citizens,” Wired reported.
Yet, Apple wants Americans to believe it’s woke, virtuous and promotes a just world for everybody.
Mr. Cook issued a statement in support of Black Lives Matter, promising to push “progress forward on inclusion and diversity, so that every great idea can be heard,” saying the company would donate to groups like the Equal Justice Initiative, “which challenge racial injustice and mass incarceration.”
How bitterly hypocritical.
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