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24 Nov 2021

Lasse Sandholt, ScandAsia

China: Swedish telecom giant Ericsson allegedly sourced from Chinese factory linked to forced labour; incl. co. comment


"Swedish Ericsson connected to forced labor factory in China", 9 November 2021

New evidence shows that the Swedish networking and telecommunications company Ericsson has been doing business with a Chinese factory accused of using the Uighur Muslims minority for forced labor. Swedish media GT has uncovered hidden documents that show that Ericsson has been a customer at the criticized factory.

It was the same factory that in an investigation from 2020 made by the Australian humanitarian organization ASPI were revealed to have 105 Uighur doing forced labor. The same report also showed that another Swedish company H&M were doing business with the factory.

Allegedly the Uighurs were transported by force from their home region in Xinjiang to the factory in the Wuhan region...

According to the report the Uighurs are being paid, but other than that the conditions at the factory are resembling slavery. They are sleeping in big sleeping quarters at the factory, and they are not allowed to leave the factory sight. They are under constant surveillance and receive physical punishment. They also have to undergo “ideological training” at night after long workdays.

The findings of this report made H&M cut its ties with the factory.

In a written response to GT, Ericsson also denies being involved with the factory as of today.

“The company, you mention in your email, is not a supplier for Ericsson today. Ericsson respects all internationally recognized human rights and we are constantly working to implement UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGP) in our operations. All our suppliers are also obliged to follow our code of conduct. This applies to all of our company no matter where we are operating,” Ericson replies.

Ericsson do not want to comment on when their cooperation with the factory stopped or started...

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