U.S. semiconductor chip company Intel has scrubbed all references to Xinjiang from an open letter on its website that created a backlash from China late last year.
Last month, Intel sent an open letter to its suppliers urging them to avoid sourcing materials from the Chinese province of Xinjiang, where the Communist Chinese government forces religious minorities into labor camps.
The Wall Street Journal at the time reported that Intel sent the letter to its global suppliers calling on them to avoid the region, stating that “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.”
China took offense to the letter, financial news website Benzinga reported.
“Chinese state-run media and the nation’s social media channels — which consist almost entirely of pro-government messaging — took aim at Intel. The Global Times newspaper ran an editorial accusing Intel of being subservient to U.S. government demands while insisting that China’s leadership should make it ‘increasingly expensive for companies to offend China,’” the outlet noted.
The Times editorial also demanded Chinese produce its own semiconductors, writing that “An important reason why Intel dares to offend China over the Xinjiang-related affairs is that it holds the monopoly of the global chip market.”
The letter also caused Chinese pop star Karry Wang of the country’s boy band TFBoys to end his role as Intel’s Chinese brand ambassador, with his management office saying on Chinese media platform Weibo that “National interests trumps everything.”
Intel quickly caved to the backlash from China, issuing an apology on its Chinese social media accounts, Benzinga reported.
“We deeply apologize for the confusion caused to our respected Chinese customers, partners and the public,” Intel said, insisting it was merely trying to follow U.S. law and that the letter did not reflect the company’s opinions on China’s treatment of Uyghurs in Xinjiang.
The law Intel was attempting to comply with was the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, which President Joe Biden signed into law last year.
This week, the Journal reported, it appears Intel has removed mention of Xinjiang from a copy of the supplier letter posted on its website.
It now says that Intel does not allow, “any human trafficked or involuntary labour such as forced, debt bonded, prison, indentured, or slave labour throughout your extended supply chains.”
The company said Monday that it “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.”
As The Daily Wire has previously reported, leaked documents from the Chinese Communist Party show just how far the oppression of Muslim minorities goes. Leaks reviewed by BBC Panorama show that the re-education camps are intended to be run as prisons and not as educational facilities, as the CCP routinely claims. One nine-page memo included in the collection of documents, sent in 2017 by then deputy secretary of Xinjiang’s Communist Party, Zhu Hailun, explains how the prisons should be run:
- “Never allow escapes”
- “Increase discipline and punishment of behavioural violations”
- “Promote repentance and confession”
- “Make remedial Mandarin studies the top priority”
- “Encourage students to truly transform”
- “[Ensure] full video surveillance coverage of dormitories and classrooms free of blind spots”