A report by the Tech Transparency Project states that Amazon’s business is closely linked to China and that its suppliers are involved in forced labor in China’s Xinjiang region.
The research group, which is run by nonprofit campaigns and often criticizes major technology companies, says Amazon’s supplier list includes companies accused of using Uyghur workers, writes Lewis Matsakis, a technology researcher at NBC News.
The Tech Transparency Project identifies three Amazon suppliers who have been directly involved in forced labor in China: Luxshare Precision Industry, Aqbel Polytech and Lens Technology.
According to its public supplier list, Amazon works with two subsidiaries of Luxshare: Dongguan Luxshare Precision Industry and Shenzhen Luxshare Electro-Acoustic Technology.
Suppliers help create products sold under house labels, such as Amazon-branded devices and Amazon Basics.
The report further warns that some third-party sellers of Amazon may offer labor-intensive products from the western Chinese region of Xinjiang, such as cotton imports, which are already subject to U.S. sanctions, Matsakis said.
“Investigations have raised questions about Amazon’s exposure to China’s crackdown on minority Uighurs in Xinjiang – and the e-commerce giant is adequately verifying its supplier relationship,” said researchers at the Tech Transparency Project.
Amazon declined to comment on the specific allegations. In a general statement, Erica Renoso, a spokeswoman for the company, said: “Amazon adheres to the laws and regulations of the judiciary in which it operates and expects suppliers to comply with our supply chain standards. We accept allegations of human rights violations. With issues. We take action whenever we find or find evidence of forced labor. “
The Australian Strategic Policy Institute, a think tank, estimates that from 2017 to 2019, at least 80,000 people in Xinjiang, a predominantly Muslim region, were forced to work in factories across the country as part of what the Chinese government called “labor transfers.” The program NBC News reports that, according to researchers, workers are often taken away from their family homes and generally have certain rights.
American companies are under increasing pressure to ensure that their supply chains do not return to Xinjiang, where human rights groups estimate that about 1 million Uighurs, Kazakhs and other ethnic minorities are being held in concentration camps. It is learned that their factory has been set up inside some facilities.
In December, U.S. President Joe Biden signed a law instructing officials to consider all imports from Xinjiang as tainted by forced labor, unless otherwise noted.
Thomson Reuters 2022