Lenovo, Dell ASUS, Hewlett Packard, Samsung, Sony, and Apple are just some of the technology brands facing global PC shortages because of their association with Chinese manufacturers linked with human abuse.
All of these Companies are selling to retailers in Australia who claim that they are monitoring brands accused of using ‘slave labour’ to manufacture components for technology products.
The detention by the Chinese government of Uyghur Muslims is now affecting the supply chain for brands that also include Samsung, and Sony who use Companies in China to manufacture components for their PC’s.
Chinese manufacturer Lenovo is so concerned over the claims that they have started to remove components made by the manufacturer Hefei Bitland, which participates in a Chinese government program to provide factories with cheap labor from persecuted Uyghurs.
Recently the Chinese Company imported an estimated 258,000 notebooks into the US market made by the manufacturer Hefei Bitland.
Some of the computers included lightweight Chromebooks bound for public schools in the U.S. — and some were delivered even after the company was placed on a government list restricting trade.
After they arrived, sources say, Lenovo apparently removed or replaced components before they were delivered to multiple US school districts this resulted in holdups in their orders of Lenovo Chromebooks.
Hefei Bitland who also supply Hewlett Packard Sony and Dell stand accused of using forced labour according to an article in Xinjiang Daily, a state newspaper.
The article explains that the plant uses Uyghur workers who are overseen by Communist Party minders and police.
The Australian Strategic Policy Institute, or ASPI, a think tank in Canberra, included Hefei Bitland in a report on Uyghur forced labor published in March, as COVID-19 was spreading through the world.
The U.S. Tariff Act prohibits companies from importing goods manufactured using forced labour, which is defined by the International Labor Organization as involving several possible indicators including intimidation, restricted movement, and abuse of a vulnerable population.
Baolongda Forging Company, the foundry for Lenovo PC’s, was also accused of forcing Uighurs to work in inhumane conditions in Xinjiang.
In July, the forging company was sanctioned by the U.S, leading to the disruption of Lenovo’s supply chain.
Asked about the reports, Lenovo said that they “hold all of its suppliers and vendors to high standards of ethics, quality and safety for any goods and services provided to our company,” West said.
“Lenovo Likewise, we require compliance with all relevant laws, rules, and regulations for the respective countries where they do business, whether on our behalf or as standard business operations. Any allegations of impropriety or violations of these policies are taken seriously and investigated with immediate action taken wherever necessary.”
Back in December 2017, Apple boss Tim Cook, strutted around the O-Film’s Guangzhou factory, posting a picture of himself on the Chinese social media platform Weibo.
“Getting a closer look at the remarkable, precision work that goes into manufacturing the selfie cameras for iPhone 8 and iPhone X at O-Film,” the post read.
Recently the post was removed along with an image of Cook at the factory.
According to an O-Film news release that has since been deleted, Mr. Cook praised the company’s “human approach towards employees” and said the workers seemed to be living “happily,” according to the ASPI report.