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Tesla has established a new showroom in Xinjiang, the capital of a region where Chinese authorities have waged a years-long campaign of repression and assimilation against the Uyghur people.
“On the final day of 2021, we meet in Xinjiang,” Tesla wrote on Weibo on December 31, announcing the opening in Urumqi. Let us embark on Xinjiang’s electric journey together in 2022!
People holding posters that read “Tesla [heart] Xinjiang” were photographed during the opening ceremonies, according to the post.
In response to China’s ongoing human rights violations in Xinjiang, the US has imposed a slew of penalties, regulations, and other measures, including limitations on US business dealings with local operators and suppliers.
President Joe Biden signed the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act last month, and the US administration plans to boycott the upcoming Winter Olympics in Beijing.
The opening of the showroom, which is apparently Tesla’s 211th in China, was criticized by Uyghur rights groups. The Council on American-Islamic Relations called for its closure immediately, as well as an end to what it called “economic support for genocide.”
“No American corporation should conduct business in a region where genocide is being waged against a religious and ethnic minority,” said Ibrahim Hooper, the council’s director of national communications.