Between 2017 and 2019, more than 80,000 Uyghurs were transferred to work in 27 manufacturing facilities that supply 83 global brands.
Since 2017, China has drawn the attention of international human rights activists about the massive and forced transfer of Uyghurs to so-called “re-education” camps. Uyghurs are a Turkic speaking Muslim minority who mainly live in Central Asia, in the Xinjiang region, a province in northwestern China home to several ethnic minorities. After “graduating” from the camps, they are sent to work in factories in different regions of the country in slavery-like conditions. Away from their families, with controlled mobility and without the right to practice their religion, the policy reinforces state control in the region and guarantees Chinese factories access to cheap labor.
From 2017 to 2019, the Australian Institute of Strategic Policies (ASPI) exposed the forced transfer of more than 80,000 Uyghurs to 27 manufacturing facilities that supply 83 global brands, including Adidas, Apple, Amazon, Gap, H&M, Microsoft, Nike, Sony, Victoria’s Secret and Zara. The institute’s report gathers information from the past three years collected from Chinese State media, official government notifications, analysis of satellite images, and academic research. It points to clear pieces of evidence of slave-like labor in such factories. The practices stipulated by the “re-education camps” violate international human rights, the Chinese constitution — which prohibits discrimination based on ethnicity and religious belief — and are called a “government-led cultural genocide” by experts.
The forced Uyghur migration has been taking place in China for at least twenty years. But the country only recognized the existence of such a system, and the camps, in 2018, as a response to international pressure. Still, the tone used by Chinese spokesmen to address the issue is positive. In essence, officials deny the use of Xinjiang’s workforce, and the Chinese media declares that participation in the programs is voluntary. However, Uyghurs who manage to escape this system report scenes of constant vigilance, fear, political indoctrination, torture, and privation.
Well in advance of the annual shareholders’ meeting, Apple investors have filed challenges that the board must address, such as the company’s stance on unions and human rights in China.
Trillium Asset Management filed a union proposal, asking Apple’s board to improve its oversight of how the company’s management has handled recent unionizing. Trillium also mentioned how employees had allegedly accused Apple of intimidation tactics to deter employees from organizing.
Advisory firm Institutional Shareholder Services also plans to consider recommending against board members at companies that fail to act on shareholder proposals that have won majority support.
Another proposal, by activist group SumOfUs, calls for Apple to create a “phaseout transition plan” to stop the company’s supply chain from using labor from Uyghur forced labor programs. Apple had also been challenged on that topic in 2021.
Apple faces two other proposals that call on the board of directors to examine the company’s remote work policies on employee retention and competitiveness, according to the Financial Times.
In August, the UN published a report that accused China of “serious human rights violations” regarding Uyghurs and other Muslim ethnic minorities in Xinjiang. Apple told the SEC that there was “no evidence that any of its suppliers were located” in the Xinjiang region, home to the Uyghurs.
Apple isn’t fighting the union proposal but does plan to challenge the others because they involve internal business decisions that don’t pertain to outsiders.
Riot police deployed in China’s Guangzhou as protests escalated while Western leaders urged Beijing to change its approach to COVID-19 and the protests.
Former Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leader Jiang Zemin died at age 96. Jiang is responsible for single-handedly starting the persecution of Falun Gong in China.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has warned Apple against removing Twitter from its App Store. He said that it would be a raw exercise of monopolistic power and such a move could merit a response from Congress. He also called out the tech giant for aiding the CCP.
A jury on Nov. 29 convicted Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes of seditious conspiracy in connection with the Jan. 6 Capitol breach. Communist China is engaged in a whole-of-nation approach to expand its military and topple the United States as leader of the international order, according to a new report released by the Pentagon.
An explosion last May at a Foxconn factory in Chengdu, China, killed four people and injured 18. It built iPads.
The explosion ripped through Building A5 on a Friday evening last May, an eruption of fire and noise that twisted metal pipes as if they were discarded straws.
When workers in the cafeteria ran outside, they saw black smoke pouring from shattered windows. It came from the area where employees polished thousands of iPad cases a day.
Two people were killed immediately, and over a dozen others hurt. As the injured were rushed into ambulances, one in particular stood out. His features had been smeared by the blast, scrubbed by heat and violence until a mat of red and black had replaced his mouth and nose.
“Are you Lai Xiaodong’s father?” a caller asked when the phone rang at Mr. Lai’s childhood home. Six months earlier, the 22-year-old had moved to Chengdu, in southwest China, to become one of the millions of human cogs powering the largest, fastest and most sophisticated manufacturing system on earth. That system has made it possible for Apple and hundreds of other companies to build devices almost as quickly as they can be dreamed up.
“He’s in trouble,” the caller told Mr. Lai’s father. “Get to the hospital as soon as possible.”
In the last decade, Apple has become one of the mightiest, richest and most successful companies in the world, in part by mastering global manufacturing. Apple and its high-technology peers — as well as dozens of other American industries — have achieved a pace of innovation nearly unmatched in modern history.
However, the workers assembling iPhones, iPads and other devices often labor in harsh conditions, according to employees inside those plants, worker advocates and documents published by companies themselves. Problems are as varied as onerous work environments and serious — sometimes deadly — safety problems.
Employees work excessive overtime, in some cases seven days a week, and live in crowded dorms. Some say they stand so long that their legs swell until they can hardly walk. Under-age workers have helped build Apple’s products, and the company’s suppliers have improperly disposed of hazardous waste and falsified records, according to company reports and advocacy groups that, within China, are often considered reliable, independent monitors.
More troubling, the groups say, is some suppliers’ disregard for workers’ health. Two years ago, 137 workers at an Apple supplier in eastern China were injured after they were ordered to use a poisonous chemical to clean iPhone screens. Within seven months last year, two explosions at iPad factories, including in Chengdu, killed four people and injured 77. Before those blasts, Apple had been alerted to hazardous conditions inside the Chengdu plant, according to a Chinese group that published that warning.
“If Apple was warned, and didn’t act, that’s reprehensible,” said Nicholas Ashford, a former chairman of the National Advisory Committee on Occupational Safety and Health, a group that advises the United States Labor Department. “But what’s morally repugnant in one country is accepted business practices in another, and companies take advantage of that.” . . .
“We’ve known about labor abuses in some factories for four years, and they’re still going on,” said one former Apple executive who, like others, spoke on the condition of anonymity because of confidentiality agreements. “Why? Because the system works for us. Suppliers would change everything tomorrow if Apple told them they didn’t have another choice.”
“If half of iPhones were malfunctioning, do you think Apple would let it go on for four years?” the executive asked. . . .
Because it appears the iManufacturer wants its Sino-suppliers to continue the practice, if evidence unveiled by (paywall) investigative website The Information is to be believed.
Citing discoveries made by human rights groups via satellite images, videos, and public statements by Chinese officials, the report “found seven companies supplying device components, coatings and assembly services to Apple that are linked to alleged forced labor involving Uyghurs and other oppressed monitories in China. At least five of those companies received thousands of Uyghur and other minority workers at specific factory sites or subsidiaries that did work for Apple, the investigation found.”
For example, the report identified one computer parts supplier – Advanced-Connectek – that operated in an “industrial park” in the Xinjiang region, where the persecuted Muslim-minority Uighurs are housed and enslaved. From The Information’s report:
Next to the park was a large compound identified by a satellite imagery researcher as a detention center where the factory workers lived. The researcher, Nathan Ruser, from an Australian think tank, said “almost no other factories in Xinjiang have these characteristics except for industrial parks where there is detainee labor.”
The Information and human rights groups have found seven companies supplying device components, coatings and assembly services to Apple that are linked to alleged forced labor involving Uyghurs and other oppressed minorities in China. At least five of those companies received thousands of Uyghur and other minority workers at specific factory sites or subsidiaries that did work for Apple, the investigation found.
Investigative efforts dating back to last year found that Apple utilized Chinese companies that operate in Xinjiang as part of their supply chain.
A report released in March 2020 by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute determined that at least three manufacturers of Apple parts use forced Uighur labor that has been relocated to factories in other parts of China: BOE Technology, which makes LCD screens, and O-Film, which makes cameras and lenses, and Hubei Yihong Precision Manufacturing, whose parent company lists Apple as a customer. The report also identified transfer of workers to a Foxconn factory, known worldwide for its assembly of iPhones.
And The Information reported in December that Apple was slow to cut ties with Chinese suppliers found to be violating its labor ethics policies, specifically pertaining to child labor and workplace safety. . . .
Apple, one of the “woke” corporations that has endorsed the Black Lives Matter movement and critical race theory, continues to use slave labor in China to make its products, a new report shows.
Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook has categorically denied the technology firm sources from Chinese companies that use Uyghur slave labor in its production lines. Last year, he was asked directly by Congress if he could “certify here today that your company does not use, and will never use, slave labor to manufacture your products?”
Mr. Cook replied: “Forced labor is abhorrent, and we will not tolerate it in Apple. I agree completely.”
Well, a new investigative report from the website The Information shows seven Apple suppliers have been accused of using slave labor.
“The Information and human rights groups have found seven companies supplying device components, coatings and assembly services to Apple that are linked to alleged forced labor involving Uyghurs and other oppressed monitories in China,” the report reads. “At least five of those companies received thousands of Uyghur and other minority workers at specific factory sites or subsidiaries that did work for Apple, the investigation found.”
International human rights groups and the U.S. have charged China with genocide against more than 1 million Uyghurs. The minorities are sent to concentration camps, away from their homes, in many cases sterilized, and subjected to live and work in poverty, as a way for the Chinese Communist Party to “cleanse” them from their Islamic faith.
The Information, associated with other human rights groups, uncovered “previously unreported public statements, photos and videos by Chinese local government offices and state-run media” in China as well as with unnamed Apple employees, to back up their reporting.
In a statement to The Information, Apple said that “despite the restrictions of Covid-19, we undertook further investigations and found no evidence of forced labor anywhere we operate. We will continue doing all we can to protect workers and ensure they are treated with dignity and respect.”
Yet, Mr. Cook continually pushed back against Congress, lobbying to weaken a bill it was crafting preventing U.S. companies from using slave labor in China. Last December, in a separate report, the Tech Transparency Project found one of Apple’s most well-known iPhone suppliers was using forced Uyghur labor in its factories. . . .
House Republicans have sent letters to dozens of White House officials requesting their testimony before U.S. Congress. The Main issues are the suspected politicization of the FBI, border security, and Hunter Biden’s business dealings.
Rare mass protests broke out in multiple Chinese cities over the weekend amid discontent under the regime’s harsh COVID-19 policies. And support is growing outside of China.
The White House responded after protests erupted across China over the zero-COVID policy. A top Biden administration official said Beijing’s strategy is unrealistic.
Officials in Arizona’s embattled Maricopa County certified the 2022 election results at a special meeting on Nov. 28, despite several objections from county residents. The man charged with opening fire at a grocery store in a predominantly black neighborhood of Buffalo, New York, pleaded guilty to 15 state charges.
Tech billionaire Elon Musk suggested he would make his own phone amid speculation Twitter could be booted from Google Play or Apple’s App Store.
“I certainly hope it does not come to that, but, yes, if there is no other choice, I will make an alternative phone,” he wrote in response to a Twitter post from podcaster Liz Wheeler. “The man builds rockets to Mars, a silly little smartphone should be easy, right?” Wheeler said.
Neither Apple, which makes iPhones, nor Google, which is behind the Android mobile operating system, have publicly indicated that Twitter could be jettisoned from either the App Store or Google Play.
Speculation ramped up earlier this month after Apple’s Twitter account deleted all of its posts and an Apple executive in charge of the App Store, Phil Scheller, appeared to delete his account. Apple CEO Tim Cook, however, is still active on the platform along with several other Apple Twitter accounts.
And Twitter’s former head of safety Yoel Roth wrote for the New York Times earlier in November that Twitter not adhering to “Apple and Google’s guidelines would be catastrophic” for the app and would risk its “expulsion from their app stores.” Roth also claimed that when he recently “departed the company, the calls from the app review teams had already begun,” . . .
Musk also posted a poll Wednesday that asked Twitter users if the company should “offer a general amnesty to suspended accounts, provided that they have not broken the law or engaged in egregious spam?” About 72 percent of respondents voted yes in favor of amnesty. Hours later, Musk wrote that “amnesty begins next week,” without elaborating.
He also explained that the lack of a so-called moderation council was due to social and political activist groups who he said broke an agreement with him by telling firms to stop advertising on Twitter.
“A large coalition of political/social activist groups agreed not to try to kill Twitter by starving us of advertising revenue if I agreed to this condition,” Musk wrote last week. “They broke the deal,” he added.
After taking over, Musk restored a number of prominent accounts, including Project Veritas, Jordan Peterson, James Lindsay, and former President Donald Trump. Trump has not used his Twitter account since it was restored about a week ago.
The reinstatement of Trump’s account appears to have triggered the most left-wing backlash. The so-called “Stop Toxic Twitter” coalition, comprised of 60 activist groups, said that Musk needs to enforce the company’s rules before Musk’s takeover.
“Unless and until Musk can be trusted to enforce Twitter’s prior community standards, the platform is not safe for users or advertisers,” they said earlier this month.
Musk said new user signups to the social media platform are at an “all-time high” and said that more two million per day were coming in over the last seven days as of Nov. 16, up 66 percent compared to the same week in 2021. . .
We believe there is no more urgent issue than the full-scale, multi-pronged attack on free speech on the internet. The censorship regime they are constructing will enable them to propagandize the population without challenge and fully control the flow of information. That is why we are devoting our work and producing our show exclusively on Rumble, a company that we truly believe is committed to preserving free speech and defying censorship pressures not only as a brand but as a cause. Stay tuned for the premiere of our new live SYSTEM UPDATE program here on Rumble. We hope you enjoy this glimpse of the show we are in the final stages of perfecting.
President Joe Biden on Nov. 24 said he plans to push for a ban on “assault weapons” during the lame-duck Congress, but one activist says gun control policies actually hurt communities of color. Fashion house Balenciaga has filed a $25 million lawsuit against the producers of an ad campaign that included legal documents from a Supreme Court decision on child porn laws.
Thanksgiving, which occurs on the fourth Thursday in November, is based on the colonial Pilgrims’ 1621 harvest meal. The holiday continues to be a day for Americans to gather for a day of feasting, football and family.
Arizona Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake on Nov. 23 filed a lawsuit against Maricopa County. Thousands of people lined the streets of New York City on Nov. 24 to watch the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Lawmakers on Capitol Hill will have a busy lame-duck schedule after Thanksgiving weekend, including passing the government funding bill and holding the next procedural vote on the same-sex marriage bill.
Former President Donald Trump on Nov. 23 responded to a recent Supreme Court ruling that gave a Democratic House committee access to his tax records. Police have identified the man who allegedly opened fire inside a Walmart in Chesapeake, Virginia. Meanwhile, new details have emerged about the Colorado Club Q shooting suspect—the defense team says the man identifies as “non-binary.”
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In new court filing, public defenders for the suspect in the mass shooting at a Colorado gay club that left 5 people dead say that their client is non-binary and that “they use they/them pronouns.” The lawyers refer to their client as Mx. Anderson Aldrich. pic.twitter.com/dPaUpiFXKN
The public defenders for the suspect in the mass shooting at a Colorado Springs LGBTQ nightclub said in a Tuesday night court filing obtained by a New York Timesreporter that their client is nonbinary and uses they/them pronouns.
The big picture: The suspect, Anderson Lee Aldrich, 22, is facing multiple murder and hate crime charges over the shooting at Club Q last weekend that killed five people, per Max D’Onofrio, a city spokesperson.
Aldrich was injured during the shooting but released from a local hospital and “booked into the El Paso County Jail,” earlier on Tuesday, per the Denver Post.
What we’re watching: Aldrich was due to make their first court appearance via video link from jail Wednesday, according to the Denver Post.