Intel was slammed on Chinese social media for a letter to suppliers published on its website. The letter said Intel had been “required to ensure that its supply chain does not use any labour or source goods or services from the Xinjiang region” following restrictions imposed by “multiple governments”.
Now that paragraph, and reference to Xinjiang or China, was no longer in the letter. Instead, it says Intel prohibits “any human trafficked or involuntary labour such as forced, debt bonded, prison, indentured, or slave labour throughout your extended supply chains.”
Intel already apologised last month for the “trouble” it had caused, saying that its commitment to avoid supply chains from Xinjiang was an expression of compliance with US law, rather than a statement of its position.
The United States has accused China of widespread human rights abuses in Xinjiang, home to the country’s predominantly Muslim Uyghurs, including forced labour. Beijing has repeatedly denied the claims.
US Senator Marco Rubio dubbed Intel a coward.
“Intel’s cowardice is yet another predictable consequence of economic reliance on China. Instead of humiliating apologies and self-censorship, companies should move their supply chains to countries that do not use slave labour or commit genocide,” Rubio said.