Intel apologizes to China after urging customers to avoid buying products made by slave labor

Intel Corporation has apologized to its Chinese customer base after sending a letter to its global suppliers urging them not to source products from the Xinjiang region where the Chinese government has been accused of human rights abuses against its Uyghur and other Turkic minorities of the Muslim faith.

According to a Wall Street Journal, Intel’s letter requested that its business partners avoid doing business with Xinjiang as “multiple governments have imposed restrictions on products sourced from the Xinjiang region. Therefore, Intel is required to ensure our supply chain does not use any labor or source goods or services from the Xinjiang region.”

Chinese newspaper The Global Times newspaper ran an editorial accusing Intel of being subservient to U.S. government demands while insisting that China’s leadership should make it “increasingly expensive for companies to offend China.”

The editorial also called for more Chinese self-reliance in the semiconductor realm, declaring, “An important reason why Intel dares to offend China over the Xinjiang-related affairs is that it holds the monopoly of the global chip market.”

Intel’s letter also resulted in Chinese pop star Karry Wang from the boy band TFBoys ending his role as Intel’s brand ambassador in China. “National interests trumps everything,” Wang’s management office said on the Weibo social media platform.

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