According to an investigation by The Washington Post and the Tech Transparency Project , mega-corporations such as Apple, Amazon and Tesla use a Chinese parts supplier suspected of using Muslim slave labor. The Tech Transparency Project reports that it has found documents describing how Lens Technology is using “thousands of Uighurs from the Muslim region of China” in its factories. At the same time, WP writes that Lens Technology has been collaborating with Apple for many years and was one of the first suppliers of parts for the production of the iPhone.
Our investigation has shown that Apple’s use of forced labor in production chains goes beyond the company’s accepted cases. Apple claims it is taking extraordinary steps to monitor its suppliers for such cases, but the evidence we found to the contrary was found in the public domain.
An Apple spokesman told the publication that the company has checked the situation with Lens Technology and the latter denies the presence of Uyghur workers. In addition, Apple insists that it conducted more than a thousand investigations in 2019, and in November of this year, a spokesman reiterated that there were no signs of forced labor on production lines.
Given that Apple has come under investigation for Chinese work practices numerous times over the past decade, the giant is hard to take its word for. It is likely that the company simply closes its eyes and prefers to trust its Chinese partners. The latter can carry out a banal substitution and falsification, and Apple is enough of this to make the face of virtue. And the saddest thing is that the use of slave labor does not mean that the price of the iPhone is lower than what it should be. Companies simply take more profits for themselves.
In addition, Buzzfeed News is also investigating potential human rights abuses, finding more than 100 factories in the Muslim region of China in prison camps that hold Muslims. The publication predicts that over a million Muslims have been in concentration camps in China since 2016.
All this is just another reminder of how toxic capitalism in its modern manifestation is. Until corporations are directly concerned with these issues, they pretend to know nothing.
I wonder if there will come a time when the products of corporations housed in their American offices will receive a sticker “designed in California, collected by slaves in China.”