Report: Apple Is Lobbying Congress to Weaken Bill Against Chinese Slavery

Tim Cook

Lobbyists for Silicon Valley tech giant Apple are reportedly attempting to weaken a new law aimed at preventing slave labor in China, the Washington Post revealed on Friday.

The Washington Post reported, citing two anonymous congressional staffers, that Apple lobbyists are working to dilute the effects of the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, which would require U.S. companies to guarantee that they do no use slavery or forced labor from the mainly Muslim region of Xinjiang, where it is estimated that the Chinese government has placed as many as 3 million people into concentration camps.

Apple relies heavily on manufacturing in China and human rights reports have reportedly identified instances where Apple’s supply chain has been fed by Uyghur forced labor that evidence suggests is tantamount to slavery. The difference between forced labor and slavery in international law is that, in the former, the individuals being forced to work are treated as persons, rather than property, by the state.

China insists that its concentration camps are “vocational training centers” for underprivileged minorities.

A study published by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) in March also identified Apple as one of 83 companies around the world whose products are being manufactured in factories using Uyghur slaves, not necessarily in Xinjiang. While China initially built the camps in Xinjiang – where survivors say they endured communist indoctrination, torture, rape, slavery, and medical studies indicating trials for live organ harvesting – after intense human rights condemnations, the Communist Party began shipping Uyghur workers to factories nationwide. The ASPI study revealed government incentives to companies to hire Uyghur slaves.

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