The United States bans 11 Chinese manufacturers from importing American tech for Uyghur human rights violations
The United States administration yesterday announced a new list of banned Chinese companies for human rights violations in the restive Xinjiang province by using Uyghur Muslims as laborers. The Trump administration announced a list of 11 Chinese companies that would now not be allowed to import any technology from American companies. The banned companies are OFilm Group, Changji Esquel Textile, Hefei Bitland Information Technology, Hefei Meiling, Hetian Haolin Hair Accessories, Hetian Taida Apparel, KTK Group, Nanjing Synergy Textiles, Tanyuan Technology, Xinjiang Silk Road BGI, and Beijing Liuhe BGI.
The statement says that these eleven Chinese companies were repressing Uyghur Muslims and other Muslim ethnic minorities within China. The US Secretary of Commerce, Wilbur Ross stated that Xinjiang Silk Road BGI and Beijing Liuhe BGI were conducting genetic studies to be used to further repress the ethnic Uyghurs. “Beijing actively promotes the reprehensible practice of forced labor and abusive DNA collection and analysis schemes to repress its citizens. This action will ensure that our goods and technologies are not used in the Chinese Communist Party’s despicable offensive against defenseless Muslim minority populations,” he said.
Out of the above 11 Chinese tech companies, OFilm Group is a known Apple supplier. According to the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) think tank report, OFilm manufactured key components of iPhone 8 and iPhone X camera technologies for Apple in 2017. OFilm Group is also a supplier of components to Acer, ASUS, Amazon, Dell, HP, HTC, Huawei, Lenovo, LG, Meizu, Microsoft, Oppo, Samsung, Sony, Vivo, Xiaomi, and ZTE. The OFilm Group also appears on Apple’s 2019 supplier list [PDF].
Soon after the US announcement, South Korea’s LG distanced itself from OFilm Group. “LG Electronics expects all of its suppliers to abide by our supplier code of conduct which is very clear on our stance regarding forced labor. LG Electronics has no direct relationship with any company named OFilm,” it said in a statement.