Intel has removed all mention of Xinjiang, a letter it sent to suppliers last week. This was after the chipmaker was criticized by Chinese social media users for asking its suppliers not to source goods in the region. It was responding to allegations that Beijing had committed human rights violations.
Intel stated on its social media accounts that the reference to Xinjiang was made in a mid December letter to suppliers. It was intended to comply with US regulations.
Washington has banned imports from Xinjiang because of complaints about human rights violations against Uyghur Muslims. This includes mass detentions and forced labor.
The Communist Party ruling has denied these allegations.
According to The Wall Street Journal the letter provoked a severe backlash from state-run Chinese media, as well as social media users.
Initial anger was sparked by the note to suppliers: “Our investors and customers have inquired whether Intel purchases goods or services from the Xinjiang region of China. Multiple governments have imposed restrictions on products sourced from the Xinjiang region. Therefore, Intel is required to ensure our supply chain does not use any labor or source goods or services from the Xinjiang region.”
After posting a letter urging suppliers against sourcing goods from Xinjiang where China is accused for human rights violations, Intel issued an apology.
But an updated version of the letter from Intel’s web site made no mention of Xinjiang.
The Post reached out to Intel for comment.
Monday’s Journal interview was conducted by a spokesperson for the company. “recently issued a statement in China to address concerns raised by our stakeholders there regarding how we communicated certain legal requirements and policies with our global supplier network.”
Intel posted an apology to Chinese social media accounts on Dec. 23. It said that the letter was published in order to comply with American laws and that it did not represent the company’s position on Xinjiang.
The apology was made on the same date that President Joe Biden signed legislation prohibiting imports of goods from Xinjiang.
The Biden administration has said that the Chinese government’s actions in Xinjiang is tantamount to genocide. China has condemned this legislation.
American companies have been criticized at home for continuing to do business in China despite the government’s human rights record, particularly as it relates to its actions in Xinjiang.
Human rights activists demanded the US boycott of the upcoming Winter Olympic Games in Beijing, which will be held on February 4.
Intel is one of many companies, along with Coca-Cola & Samsung, that are sponsoring these Games.
Intel defended its December correspondence, claiming it was complying with a US law that bans imports from Xinjiang. SOPA Images/LightRocket via Gett
Last month, President Biden announced a diplomatic boycott of what the White House called “the White House”. “egregious human rights abuses and atrocities.”
The diplomatic boycott prohibits American officials from attending official Olympic events, such as the opening and closing ceremonies. American athletes will still be allowed compete.
Despite US public opinion, some of America’s largest brand names continue to strengthen their ties to China.
Elon Musk’s electric car maker, Tesla, recently opened a showroom in Xinjiang. The company announced the opening in a December 31 blog post on its official account on Weibo, which is China’s equivalent to Twitter.
Chinese government officials last month slammed Walmart and its wholesale chain Sam’s Club, accusing the retailers of “stupidity”After they reportedly took items sourced from Xinjiang from stores in the country,