Amazon Still Works with Chinese Suppliers Accused of Using Forced Labor, Watchdog Group Says

Amazon continues to work with Chinese companies accused of using forced labor among the Uyghur ethnic minority in the Xinjiang region, according to a report published on March 7.

Research group Tech Transparency Project, which is run by nonprofit group Campaign for Accountability, found that Amazon’s public list of suppliers includes five companies that allegedly have either direct or indirect ties to the forced labor of the Uyghur community.

The report identified Luxshare Precision Industry, AcBel Polytech, and Lens Technology as Amazon suppliers with direct links to forced labor.

The report also identified GoerTek and Hefei BOE Optoelectronics as Amazon suppliers that were accused of working with companies that have allegedly used forced labor.

Amazon also continued document a supply relationship with Esquel Group for a year after the United States government imposed sanctions for alleged involvement in forced labor in China, the report found.

Amazon also continued to sell third-party products made from Xinjiang cotton after the U.S. government banned cotton imports from the region in January 2021.

“The findings raise questions about Amazon’s exposure to China’s repression of minority Uyghurs in Xinjiang — and the extent to which the e-commerce giant is adequately vetting its supplier relationships,” the researchers wrote in the report.

In a statement, Amazon spokesperson Erika Reynoso said, “Amazon complies with the laws and regulations in all jurisdictions in which it operates, and expects suppliers to adhere to our Supply Chain Standards. We take allegations of human rights abuses seriously, including those related to the use or export of forced labor. Whenever we find or receive proof of forced labor, we take action.”

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