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Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) and Uyghur Population

Smart In Your World
The XUAR Uyghur population, ethnic Kazakhs, ethnic Kyrgyz, and members of other Muslim minority groups have been the target of human rights abuses and a mass campaign of repression by the People’s Republic of China.

Specific abuses include arbitrary detention for indefinite periods, severe physical and psychological abuse, forced labor, involuntary collection of biometric data, sterilization, sexual abuse, genetic analyses, religious persecution, and cultural and political indoctrination in re-education camps. These groups have been placed in large internment camps and some are forced to work in Chinese government owned factories. There are reports of mass transfers of this population and forced to work at factories across China.

The XUAR region is important and many companies globally rely on products and raw materials from the region. XUAR produces 20% of the world’s cotton and an estimated 80% of cotton for China, the majority of the world’s supply of polysilicon used to produce solar panels, as well as agriculture products, minerals, oil, and an array of manufactured products including auto parts, footwear, and electronics.

On July 13, 2021, the US Department of State in conjunction with the US Department of the Treasury, the US Department of Commerce, and the US Department of Homeland Security, issued an updated Xinjiang Supply Chain Business Advisory to strengthen its warnings against doing business in the region:

Given the severity and extent of these abuses, including widespread, state-sponsored forced labor and intrusive surveillance taking place amid ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang, businesses and individuals that do not exit supply chains, ventures, and/or investments connected to Xinjiang could run a high risk of violating U.S. law.

Significantly, in Annex 2, the Advisory identifies industries in XUAR which reportedly use forced labor.

  • Agriculture (including such products as raw cotton, hami melons, korla pears, tomato products, and garlic);
  • Cell Phones;
  • Cleaning Supplies;
  • Construction;
  • Cotton, Cotton Yarn, Cotton Fabric, Ginning, Spinning Mills, and Cotton Products;
  • Electronics Assembly;
  • Extractives (including coal, copper, hydrocarbons, oil, uranium, and zinc);
  • Fake hair and human hair wigs, hair accessories;
  • Food processing factories;
  • Footwear;
  • Gloves;
  • Hospitality Services;
  • Metallurgical grade silicon;
  • Noodles;
  • Printing Products;
  • Renewable Energy (polysilicon, ingots, wafers, crystalline silicon solar cells, crystalline silicon solar photovoltaic modules);
  • Stevia;
  • Sugar;
  • Textiles (including such products as apparel, bedding, carpets, wool, viscose); and
  • Toys.

We have obtained trade data from XUAR that lists other products produced in the region. Any company with potential exposure to, or connection with the above industries in XUAR should evaluate their supply chains, as these products may be the subject of future WROs or prohibitions under the UFLPA. We can also assist companies to confirm whether their product categories or inputs for their products are produced in XUAR.

The investigations into XUAR forced labor has led CBP to issue several WRO’s, essentially banning the importation of specified products from the region including:

  • Silica-based products- Hoshine Silicon Industry Co. Ltd. and Subsidiaries
  • Cotton, tomatoes, and downstream products- XUAR
  • Computer parts- Hefei Bitland Information Technology Co., Ltd.
  • Products produced by - No. 4 Vocation Skills Education Training Center (VSETC)
  • Hair Products- Lop County Hair Product Industrial Park and Hetian Haolin Hair Accessories Co., Ltd.
  • Apparel - Yili Zhuowan Garment Manufacturing Co., Ltd. and Baoding LYSZD Trade and Business Co., Ltd.
  • Garments- Hero Vast Group

There has been global condemnation of these human rights and forced labor violations and several countries have or are considering similar bans on products from XUAR. Many large companies have also spoken out against these atrocities and publicly announced a shift of their supply chains outside of XUAR.

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