Apple touts itself as a protector of human rights, while also censoring on behalf of the Chinese government and offering China special affordances that it doesn’t offer other countries – the USA included.
And embarrassingly for Apple, a Chinese firm that manufacturers for Apple is now one of eleven Chinese companies that have been accused of human rights violations by the US Depart of Commerce. The firm is known as Nanchang O-Film Tech and is also linked to the other Big Tech companies as well.
“The US Department of Commerce added 11 Chinese companies to its list of firms implicated in human rights violations, including China’s reported campaign against Muslim minority groups from an area of the country known as the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region. At least one of those companies, Nanchang O-Film Tech, is listed as a supplier or undefined ‘partner’ with nearly two dozen tech and car companies, including Amazon, Apple, Dell, GM, and Microsoft,” read an excerpt from a CNET report.
For a while now, several whistleblowers have tried drawing attention to the dire situation of Chinese workers in sweatshops for building products for a number of tech companies. With the US government recognizing eleven such Chinese companies, all of them will face strict restrictions when it comes to the products and technology that belongs to the United States.
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“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,” said Wilbur Ross, the Secretary of Commerce.
The Chinese tech firm makes touch screens, cameras, and fingerprint sensors. That said, Apple hasn’t clearly revealed what the Chinese company provides them with exactly. Every year, Apple tends to publish a report that lists all of its annual suppliers. In its previous year report, the Chinese firm Nanchang O-Film Tech was mentioned. This year’s report is yet to be released, based on which we’d find out if Apple is still working with them.
Several prominent US brands have heavily relied on Chinese workforce to provide cheap labor for manufacturing and assembly of a number of products, even from those in modern day concentration camps.