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14 Jul 2021

Al Jazeera (Qatar)

USA: Updated business advisory warns companies on Xinjiang business and calls for heightened due diligence

"US warns companies on Xinjiang business, urges exit", 14 July 2021

The United States has warned of heightened risks for companies doing business in Xinjiang [...] In an updated business advisory issued on Tuesday, the US said there was “growing evidence” of forced labour, as well as other human rights abuses and “intrusive” surveillance. [...]

The advisory says those wanting to do business in Xinjiang should be alert to the potential risks in connection with the development of surveillance tools, sourcing goods and labour from Xinjiang – or elsewhere along the supply chain in China – providing US products including software or aiding in the construction or operation of internment centres or factories nearby. [...]

The advisory noted the lack of transparency but urged companies to carry out “heightened” due diligence, warning there was a risk of prosecution for those found – even indirectly – to be supporting the Chinese government’s surveillance system in the region or providing financial backing to businesses linked to human rights abuses.

Any firms with existing investments and business operations that could be affected should consider “responsible divestment”, it added. [...]

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