Intel Apologizes to China after Xinjiang Policy Ignites Backlash

Published December 23rd, 2021 - 11:22 GMT
Intel Apologizes to China after Xinjiang Policy Ignites Backlash
Intel clarified in a statement that the instruction to suppliers was strictly given to ensure compliance with U.S. laws, and did not represent the company's own position. (Shutterstock)

Intel, the US computer chip maker, apologized to China on Thursday for informing its suppliers not to source products or labor from the Xinjiang region.

The company clarified in a statement that the instruction to suppliers was strictly given to ensure compliance with U.S. laws, and did not represent the company's own position.

The statement included the following apology: "We apologize for the distress caused to our esteemed Chinese customers, partners and the general public."

Earlier this month, the U.S. Senate passed legislation banning imports from the Xinjiang region, an action taken in response to Beijing's alleged abuses against the ethnic Uyghur Muslim population. Defending itself, the Chinese government has repeatedly denied these accusations.

Commenting on Intel's latest move, China's state-controlled Global Times described Intel's instruction to suppliers as "absurd," saying the U.S. semiconductor manufacturer earned 26% of its revenue from China and Hong Kong last year.

The Chinese brand ambassador, Karry Wang, terminated his contract with the Americann chipmaker on Wednesday to protect China's "national interest."

Despite the backlash, Intel said it is committed to China as a trusted technology partner and will accelerate its development there.

It's worth noting that Intel is not the only the Western brand to face criticism in China. In March, H&M was forced to close some of its outlets in China after a consumer boycott over the retailer's statement expressing concern over reports of forced labor in the Xinjiang region.


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