The United States Department of Commerce is adding Apple supplier Nanchang O-Film to a list of 11 Chinese companies that it has found to be in violation of human rights. Nanchang O-Film, a supplier for Apple, Amazon, Dell, GM, and Microsoft is considered an “undefined partner” which makes cameras, touchscreens, and fingerprint sensors.
As outlined by CNET, the Department of Commerce says that the 11 companies support “mass arbitrary detention, forced labor, involuntary collection of biometric data and genetic analysis” including deliberate actions against Uighur Muslims.
“Beijing actively promotes the reprehensible practice of forced labor and abusive DNA collection and analysis schemes to repress its citizens,” Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said in a statement Monday. “This action will ensure that our goods and technologies are not used in the Chinese Communist Party’s despicable offensive against defenseless Muslim minority populations.”
The addition of the supplier to the list is a part of an increased political pressure campaign coming from President Trump’s administration against Chinese companies as a ploy for the US-China trade war. Apple has felt the brunt of the trade-war having to dodge multiple tariffs and balance its reliance in China, with the fact its an American company.
While Nanchang O-Film is an Apple supplier, the blame can’t be blamed on the Silicon tech giant. Apple posts an annual supplier report which outlines the steps it and it’s partner takes to ensure that employees at plants and factories are treated with respect and dignity. However, there is only so much Apple can do until there is evidence of wrongdoings, which in this case there now is.
Nanchang O-Film didn’t comment on the accusation from the United States government, and it remains unclear whether Apple will speak up. Right now millions of Uighurs Muslims are being inhumanely treated, beyond belief in Northwestern China. Given Apple’s upholding of human rights and human dignity, it would be in its favor to speak up against one of its suppliers and to defend what’s right.