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Intel Apologizes For Requesting Suppliers To Avoid Products From China's Xinjiang Region

The United States-based chip maker, Intel has drawn backlash in China after it directed the suppliers to not source products or labour from the Xinjiang region

| Written By
Ajeet Kumar

Image: AP

A day after facing a backlash from the Chinese government as well as the local customers, Intel has tendered an unconditional apology for the letter it had sent. The apology from the world's largest semiconductor chip manufacturer came after it had uploaded a letter about the discontinuation of assignments from the dealers working from the Xinjiang regions. Notably, the letter from the intel came nearly two days after the Biden administration imposed new sanctions on the firms from importing products manufactured by forced labour. According to the Joe Biden administration, several Chinese biotech and surveillance companies and government entities purchase equipment from US-based firms and then use it against the minority communities in China. 

Subsequently, Intel, which has a large share in the Chinese market, has posted a letter on the social media platform about their decision to discourage products manufactured by the Muslim minorities community, particularly the Uyghurs. Intel’s request was “arrogant and vicious,” said Global Times, a newspaper published by the Communist government. “So-called forced labour and other allegations on Xinjiang are completely lies concocted by anti-China forces," said Chines Foreign Ministry spokesman, Zhao Lijian. He called on Intel to “respect facts and tell right from wrong.”

What apology letter says?

Following this, the developer of the x86 series of microprocessors, the processors found in most personal computers, issued a clarification-cum-apology letter on China-controlled social media platform, WeChat. "We apologise for the trouble caused to our respected Chinese customers, partners, and the public," Sputnik quoted Intel as saying. Further, the company explained that the letter was meant to follow US laws. "Intel is striving to be a reliable technology partner to China." It is worth noting Intel is not the only brand that has been facing a backlash in China but big brands like Nike and H&M are also facing the same issue in Beijing. After the Communist government issued a warning in The Global Times, Pop singer Wang Junkai, announced he was pulling out of a deal to act as a "brand ambassador" for Intel's Core line of processor chips.  

US sanctions on China

According to the official who spoke on the condition of anonymity, the US secret services found China has set up a high tech surveillance system across the western region, Xinjiang, that uses biometric facial recognition. The intelligence agency has also discovered that Beijing has assembled DNA samples from all residents including, minors to the elderly. As per the findings, children from the age group of 12 are targeted by the Xi Jinping-led government. "A review by multiple federal agencies determined that the Chinese academy and research institutes use biotechnology processes to support Chinese military end-uses and end-users, to include purported brain-control weaponry," the US Commerce Department said in a finding report. It is worth mentioning in July this year, the US Senate had passed legislation to ban the import of products from China's Xinjiang region as it assumed the goods produced there are made with forced labour. The Senate had noted that these Chinese firms played a major role in continuing the Beijing "genocide and crimes against humanity."  

(Image: AP)

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