Nike, Adidas, Apple, Microsoft and Samsung are among 83 multinationals that have been linked to forced labor by Uighurs in factories across China, according to a new study by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI). According to the researchers, Uighurs, a persecuted ethnic minority from China’s western Xinjiang region, have been funneled to work in factories in other provinces under conditions “that strongly suggest forced labour.”
The report estimates that more than 80,000 Uighurs were transferred to work in factories across China between 2017 and 2019. The period coincides with China’s campaign of mass internment of ethnic minorities in Xinjiang, which the government says is needed to root out terrorism and separatism. Some Uighurs have allegedly been placed in these factories straight from the internment camps in Xinjiang, where experts estimate more than 1.5 million members of ethnic minorities are being held.