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Intel (NASDAQ: INTC), the world’s largest chipmaker, issued an apology in China on Thursday after a letter instructing suppliers not to source products or labor from the Xinjiang region sparked outrage, making it the latest Western company to be tripped up over rights issues in the country.
Following restrictions imposed by “multiple governments,” Intel recently published what it described as an annual letter to suppliers, dated December, in which it stated that it was “required to ensure that its supply chain does not use any labor or source goods or services from the Xinjiang region.”
The US has accused China of widespread human rights violations, including forced labor, in Xinjiang, home to the country’s predominantly Muslim Uyghurs.
The claims have been repeatedly refuted by Beijing. Intel’s letter, which was posted on the company’s website and translated into several languages, drew condemnation from Chinese state and social media, as well as calls for a boycott.
Intel said its commitment to avoid supply chains from Xinjiang was an expression of compliance with US law, not a statement of its position on the issue, in a Chinese-language statement posted on its official WeChat and Weibo (NASDAQ: WB) accounts on Thursday.
“We apologise for the trouble caused to our respected Chinese customers, partners and the public. Intel is committed to becoming a trusted technology partner and accelerating joint development with China,” Intel said.
Story by : Norvisi Mawunyegah