Intel lamented how its warning to its suppliers not to use labor or products originating from China’s Xinjiang region was interpreted within the Middle Empire.
China is credibly accused of carrying out genocide in Xinjiang, a region whose inhabitants are mostly members of the Uyghur people and practice Islam. Human rights organization Amnesty International’s assessment of the situation in Xinjiang revealed that “Muslim ethnic minorities are systematically sentenced to mass state imprisonment, torture and persecution. amounting to crimes against humanity ”.
The United States’ assessment of the region indicates that China has implemented “wholesale policies, practices and abuses … designed systematically to discriminate against and monitor ethnic Uyghurs … restrict their freedom to travel, to emigrate and to attend schools, and deny other basic human rights of assembly. , speech and worship.
The United States also takes a dim view of organizations doing business in Xinjiang, as some companies are believed to use forced labor performed by Uyghurs held in internment camps. Last week, Washington banned eight Chinese companies for aiding China’s actions in Xinjiang.
Intel is aware of the situation in Xinjiang and, in its annual letter to suppliers [PDF]*, included the following text:
Over the past few days, this section of the letter has gone viral in China. And the Chinese people are not happy because if Beijing does not deny that it is doing extraordinary things in Xianjing, the Chinese government is justifying these actions as necessary to prevent terrorism.
At this point in the story, it’s time to meet Chinese pop star Wang Junkai, one of three members of a group called “TFBoys” who topped the Chinese pop charts and garnered hundreds of millions of products. recommended.
Intel hired Wang Junkai as a brand ambassador for its Core processor. But the star threw Intel in the trash yesterday, with a post on the Weibo microblogging service, saying he and his management tried to get Intel’s position on Xinjiang clarified but heard nothing back.
Citing the primacy of national interests over trade, the star ended his relationship with Intel.
This action appears to have prompted Intel to act. The chipmaker has now posted a statement and article on Weibo in which it expresses its deep regret that the vendor’s letter was seen as an expression of Intel’s opinion.
“To clarify, the paragraph on Xianjing in the letter serves only to express the original intention of compliance and legality, not its intention or position,” the new statement read, after automatic translation.
Intel can be reassured that it is not alone in resisting its stance on Xianjing: Nike, H&M, Zara and other fashion retailers have been boycotted in China for their refusal to use the region’s cotton on the grounds that ‘it could have been harvested through forced labor.
These boycotts have made Chinese consumers keenly aware of their market power, so this incident could potentially see some deciding to shop with AMD or consider PCs powered by Huawei’s Kunpeng desktop card and the 7 processor. nm Kunpeng 920 ARM v8.
China could also sanction Intel, although this could be counterproductive as Chipzilla has 17 facilities in the Middle Kingdom and employs more than 10,000 locals. Big Chinese clouds are also big customers for Intel, because while Arm and RISC-V are making great strides, Intel’s Xeon remains the workhorse for transporting bits in most mainstream data centers. And also, let’s assume, in the data centers that the Chinese government uses to run its affairs, including its surveillance state. ®
*Intel has revised the version of the supplier’s letter on its site to remove the reference to Xinjiang. The link in the body of this story is to a previous version that Intel was offering to download.