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20 Aug 2021

Global Times (China)

China: Shenzhen Verite's closure due to "fabricated" report on Xinjiang, according to state media

"Exclusive: How US auditor Verite fabricated a report on Xinjiang – What the WSJ did not tell you", 20 August 2021

[...] What the Wall Street Journal report failed to mention is that the Global Times released another exclusive report on August 3 about the details of how the Shenzhen Verite company made up the predetermined guilty report.

In 2006, the US company Verite sent its Chinese employee Yao Wenjuan to set up a workshop in Shenzhen, which was later registered as a company in Verite's name and dealt with Verite's businesses in China, with Yao being the legal representative.

The Global Times learned that the BCI headquarters invited Verite to join the investigation into whether "forced labor" is being used in cotton-related industries in Xinjiang. The budget for the project was $88,200, including $51,950 for Verite US headquarters and $18,250 for the Shenzhen Verite. 

There is no record in the Shenzhen company's financial reimbursement records of any employee going to Xinjiang to conduct a field survey on this BCI project. 

Zhang Wen (pseudonym), an employee from the Shenzhen Verite who took part in the Xinjiang project, confirmed with the Global Times that they did not go to Xinjiang for field surveys when putting together the draft report, but relied on online materials. [...]

Yao also altered the final draft to cater to the West's accusations on Xinjiang. "The research to make the draft was very limited and we had used second-hand information, making the conclusion flawed," Liu told the Global Times. [...]

Part of the following timelines

China: 83 major brands implicated in report on forced labour of ethnic minorities from Xinjiang assigned to factories across provinces; Includes company responses

China: Mounting concerns over forced labour in Xinjiang

Brands face boycott in China over decision not to source Xinjiang cotton due to allegations of forced labour