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Senator Rubio blasts Apple over China forced labor allegations

Apple says it has found no evidence of forced labor in its supply chain.

What you need to know

  • Senator Marco Rubio had strong words for Apple at a Senate hearing on Thursday.
  • He told a Foreign Relations Committee that U.S. companies were profiting from Chinese government abuses.
  • He cited allegations of using forced labor, and other Senators accused companies of profiting from China’s “authoritarian surveillance industry.”

Senator Marco Rubio has blasted Apple over its compliance in Chinese government abuses while speaking in front of a Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

From Reuters:

Speaking at a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on China’s crackdown on Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in its western Xinjiang region, Republican Senator Marco Rubio said many U.S. companies had not woken up to the fact that they were “profiting” from the Chinese government’s abuses.

Rubio reportedly stated “For far too long companies like Nike and Apple and Amazon and Coca-Cola were using forced labor. They were benefiting from forced labor or sourcing from suppliers that were suspected of using forced labor”, before claiming these companies had also made their customers “complicit in these crimes”.

Democrat Senators Ed Markey and Tim Kaine chimed in to say that U.S. tech companies had reportedly profited from China’s “authoritarian surveillance industry”, claiming many of their products were being used in Xianjing right now.

Multiple Apple partners in China have been linked to worrying reports of forced Uyghur labor in China, most recently a wind farm partner of the company.

At the end of May Apple Published its 2021 supplier responsibility report which indicates the company has not found any evidence of forced labor in its supply chain. The company stated, “in all our work, we continued to set and enforce the highest standards for labor and human rights, health and safety in the workplace, and environmental protection.”