Apple Opposes a Bill to Combat China’s Forced Labor

The Apple company logo at an Apple store.

Lobbyists representing Apple are said to be trying to weaken a bill that is aimed at combating forced labor in China. (Image: zhangkaiyv via Unsplash)

Lobbyists representing Apple are said to be trying to weaken a bill that is aimed at combating forced labor in China. The bill, called the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, will mandate American companies to guarantee that they do not use coerced or jailed workers from the Xinjiang region, a place where more than a million Uyghur people have been subjected to internment camps and brainwashing. The lobbying is an indication of the growing conflict between business interests and human values. 

Apple and forced labor

Apple’s manufacturing is heavily dependent on China. The company has been accused many times of using forced Uyghur labor in its supply chain. Apple spokesperson Josh Rosenstock has vehemently denied such reports, claiming that an internal investigation had found no such forced labor in the production lines. Apple “is dedicated to ensuring that everyone in our supply chain is treated with dignity and respect. We abhor forced labor and support the goals of the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act. We share the committee’s goal of eradicating forced labor and strengthening U.S. law, and we will continue working with them to achieve that,” he said, as reported by The Washington Post.

Subscribe to our Newsletter!

Receive selected content straight into your inbox.

Uyghurs as seen through the fence at a detention center in Xinjiang, China.
Apple has been accused many times of using forced Uyghur labor in its supply chain. (Image: Screenshot via YouTube)

But despite Apple’s assertion, not everyone believes the company’s claims. Fierce Government Relations, Apple’s lobbying firm, has revealed that it is lobbying on the bill at the behest of the company. However, it did not reveal whether Apple is supporting the bill or is against it. The lobbying disclosure requirements do not mandate such details to be revealed.

Now, there are two possibilities — either Apple is supporting the bill against forced labor or wants to water it down. If it is the first scenario, it is logical to assume that there wouldn’t be any secrecy over the company’s stance. After all, the fact that they are standing against forced labor would be a good PR boost for the company. Why would Apple miss this chance? Since the firm’s stance on the issue is being kept a secret, it is likely that Apple is actually looking to weaken the bill.

The Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act was passed in the House in September with an overwhelming majority of 406 to 3. Now, the bill is in front of the Senate, and corporations have intensified their efforts against it. If passed, the bill will give American authorities more powers to investigate the use of forced labor by U.S. companies. One of the provisions mandates public companies to certify to the Securities and Exchange Commission that none of their items manufactured in China have used forced labor from the Xinjiang region. If the companies are found to be violating this rule, they will be prosecuted. 

Internment facility, Xinjiang, China.
Under the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, companies will be prosecuted if they are found to have used forced labor from the Xinjiang region in their products manufactured in China. (Image: Screenshot via YouTube)

Involvement of other companies

As the Uyghur issue gains prominence, many companies are coming forward to distance themselves from it. In the UK, the House of Commons business committee questioned fashion brand Boohoo in order to clarify whether any forced labor is being used in its supply chain. The brand revealed that no manufacturing or fabric sourced from Chinese suppliers is linked to Xinjiang.

Other fashion labels like Nike and H&M have also denied any involvement with Uyghur forced labor. Curiously, Volkswagen, which has a car plant in Xinjiang, defended its decision to continue operating in the region. Its factory in Urumqi has 600 workers and manufactures around 20,000 vehicles every year. Stephan Wöllenstein, the company’s CEO in China, said that they are doing everything to ensure that none of Volkswagen’s production sites use forced labor. However, he admitted that he couldn’t provide a 100 percent guarantee that such forced labor is not in use.

Follow us on TwitterFacebook, or Pinterest

Recommended Stories

Pick of the Litter thrift store.

Thrift Shop Manager Did Not Thrift on Honesty, Returning $5,000 to Owner

Nowadays, it would be best not to rush on pocketing any dollar bill you see ...

A sad young woman.

7 Practical Ways to Overcome Suicidal Thoughts

Active thoughts about suicide involve clear and precise thoughts about taking your life. There are ...

Sannakji, fresh octopus tentacles, sprinkled with sesame seeds.

7 of the Most Bizarre Foods in the World

Do you love adventure and exploring unique foods from different cultures worldwide? Out here, extraordinary ...

Emotional Asian woman covering ears with hands.

Are Intrusive Thoughts Normal?

Intrusive thoughts are thoughts that seem to become stuck in your mind. The nature of ...

The Champs Elysées, a 2-km-long road in Paris, France, stretching from the Arc de Triomphe to the Louvre.

The Champs Elysées: The Most Famous Street in Paris with 300 Years of History

Why is the Champs Elysées so famous? It was built on the order of the ...

Publicity photo of American actress Anna May Wong likely commissioned to promote the movie 'Daughter of Shanghai.'

Anna May Wong: A Pioneering Hollywood Star of Asian Descent

On October 24, 2022, the U.S. Mint released a 25-cent coin with President Washington on ...

Destroyed buildings and rubble from an earthquake.

Nature’s Warning Signs: Bizarre Happenings Before the Tangshan Earthquake

On July 28, 1976, at 3:42 a.m. Beijing time, an earthquake 16 kilometers below the ...

The Longgong Waterfall.

Exploring the Enchanting Zhukeng River Trail in Chiayi, Taiwan 

Nestled in the picturesque Ruifong Scenic Area in central Taiwan’s Chiayi County, the Zhukeng River ...

A boy using a smartphone.

Excessive Screen Time Can Affect Young People’s Emotional Development

A recent Beyond Blue survey of more than 2,000 teachers identified mental ill-health and excessive ...

Send this to a friend