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19 Apr 2021

Sinéad Baker, Insider (USA)

Volkswagen executive rules out possibility of forced labour and stands by commitment in Xinjiang

"Volkswagen is not closing its factory in Xinjiang as long as it's 'economically feasible,' exec says", 19 April 2021

A Volkswagen executive said the carmaker will not close its factory in Xinjiang, China, as long as it's "economically feasible."

Stephan Wöllenstein, the CEO of Volkswagen Group China, told journalists in Shanghai on Sunday: "We have made it clear that we must stand by our commitment in China as a whole, and we will also stand by our commitment in Xinjiang as long as we believe that it is economically feasible," the German newspaper Der Spiegel reported.

Volkswagen has a factory in the major of Urumqi in Xinjiang. [...]

According to Der Spiegel, Wöllenstein said: "We can't have an issue like forced labor because we employ employees directly." [...]

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