Intel, a chipmaker and technology corporation based in the United States, apologized to its Chinese business partners and customers on Thursday after instructing its suppliers to avoid sourcing from China’s Xinjiang province.
Earlier this month, Intel wrote a letter to suppliers advising them to avoid products, labor, and materials from Xinjiang, which is home to China’s Uyhgur Muslim minority. Intel expected suppliers to “prohibit any human trafficking or involuntary labor” in its supply chains, according to Jackie Sturm, vice president and general manager of worldwide supply chain operations at Intel.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Intel received harsh criticism after the letter was published from many Chinese social media users and government-linked actors, including the Chinese state-run publication the Global Times, which accused Intel of “proving the company’s own innocence under the pressure of the extreme political environment in the US.”
The company apologized for the message it posted on Chinese social media channels early Thursday. It stated that it had written to comply with US law. The Daily Caller News Foundation reached out to William Moss, Intel’s senior corporate communications director. He stated that the apology was made in response to concerns raised by stakeholders.
The US has imposed economic penalties on Xinjiang-based companies, as well as export bans. Congress passed a law last week that required corporations to source goods from Xinjiang in order to prove that no slave labor was used anywhere in the supply chain. The US Treasury Department rescinded investment in certain technology companies last Monday that were allegedly involved in the surveillance of Uyghur Muslims living in Xinjiang.