U.S. chip maker Intel apologized on Thursday after its statement announcing that it would avoid products from Xinjiang received backlash in China.
Intel recently published a letter to its suppliers, saying that the company had been “required to ensure that its supply chain does not use any labor or source goods or services from the Xinjiang region.”
The letter had sparked controversy in China, prompting backlash from both the state and social media.
The Communist Party’s official newspaper People’s Daily had called the statement “absurd”, while Chinese pop star Wang Junkai announced on Wednesday that he terminated his ambassadorship with Intel over its statement.
The chip maker apologized to its Chinese customers in a Chinese-language statement on social media platform Weibo, saying that the letter was sent out in compliance with U.S. sanctions against Xinjiang and not an expression of a political stance.
“Although our original intention was to ensure compliance with U.S. laws, this letter has caused many questions and concerns among our cherished Chinese partners, which we deeply regret,” Intel said in its statement.
China has repeatedly denied allegations of widespread human rights abuses in Xinjiang, particularly towards Muslim Uyghurs, and has been the subject of political pressure from the U.S. and other world powers.
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