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21 Jul 2020


USA: Eleven Chinese firms added to economic blacklist over allegations of using forced labour of ethnic minorities

“U.S. adds 11 firms to economic blacklist over China's treatment of Uighurs”, 20 July 2020

The U.S. Commerce Department added to an economic blacklist… 11 Chinese companies it said were implicated in human rights violations regarding China’s treatment of Uighurs in the western Xinjiang region…

The Commerce Department said the companies were involved in using forced labor by Uighurs and other Muslim minority groups.

Among them are numerous textile companies and two firms the government said were conducting genetic analyses used to further the repression of Uighurs and other Muslim minorities…

The companies added to the blacklist include Nanchang O-Film Tech, a supplier for Apple’s iPhone… according to O-Film’s website. It is also a supplier to Amazon.com Inc and Microsoft, according to an April congressional letter.

The U.S. companies did not immediately comment.

The list includes two subsidiaries of Beijing Genomics Institute (BGI), a genomics company with ties to the Chinese government, Senator Marco Rubio said…

It [BGI Genomics] said that it would work to verify the reasons for its subsidiary’s inclusion on the list and actively communicate with the U.S. Commerce Department…

Also newly on the list are KTK Group Co, which makes more than 2,000 products for high-speed trains, ranging from electronics to seats; and Tanyuan Technology Co, which assembles high thermal, conductive graphite reinforced aluminum composites.

KTK said in a statement it had no investments in the United States and did not rely on U.S. technology…

Tanyuan Technology said its inclusion on the list would not materially affect its daily operations.

Another blacklisted company is Changji Esquel Textile Co, which Esquel Group launched in 2009. Esquel Group produces clothing for Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger and Hugo Boss.

In a letter to Ross… Esquel Chief Executive John Cheh asked for the unit’s removal from the list. “Esquel does not use forced labor, and we never will use forced labor,” Cheh wrote…

Efforts to contact the other companies in China were unsuccessful.

Also on the banned roster is Hetian Haolin Hair Accessories Co. On May 1, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) said it was halting imports of the company’s hair products, citing evidence of forced labor…

[Also referred to Hikvision, SenseTime Group Ltd and Megvii Technology]

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

China: USA adds Chinese firms and entities to sanction lists over human rights abuses

China: Mounting concerns over forced labour in Xinjiang