TTP Investigation: Amazon Suppliers Tied to Forced Labor in Xinjiang
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 7, 2022
Contact: Michael Clauw, firstname.lastname@example.org, 202.780.5750
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Campaign for Accountability (CfA), a nonprofit watchdog group that runs the Tech Transparency Project (TTP), released a report detailing five Amazon suppliers that have been linked directly or indirectly to forced labor of ethnic minorities from China’s Xinjiang region. The suppliers, which produce Amazon devices and goods for Amazon’s private brands, were included in Amazon’s June 2021 supplier list update, despite publicly available information about the five suppliers’ links to forced labor.
Campaign for Accountability Executive Director Michelle Kuppersmith said, “Amazon hasn’t gotten as much attention as Apple on the issue of suppliers using forced labor, but Amazon deserves just as much scrutiny. If Amazon wants to retain the privilege of selling its proprietary goods to U.S. consumers, it has both a moral and legal obligation to deliver more than empty assurances that it’s operating a clean supply chain.”
Reports tie three Amazon suppliers directly to forced labor: Luxshare Precision Industry, AcBel Polytech, and Lens Technology. Another two, GoerTek and Hefei BOE Optoelectronics, are themselves supplied by factories that have been implicated in forced labor. Another supplier—Esquel Group—remained on Amazon’s supplier list for more than a year after the U.S. government imposed sanctions on an Esquel subsidiary for involvement in forced labor in China.
The Information detailed some of these supplier links to forced labor in a May 2021 report about Apple, noting that Amazon and other U.S. tech companies use some of the same suppliers. In a comment to The Information, Amazon said it expects all items sold in its stores to comply with its supply chain standards and takes action if it receives proof of forced labor. A month later, however, Amazon continued to include Luxshare and AcBel subsidiaries on its supplier list.
Amazon’s continued use of companies with well-documented ties to forced labor in Xinjiang cast doubt on the tech giant’s stated intolerance of human rights abuses in its supply chain. The issue is set to become even more urgent for the company with the introduction of the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act.
Ms. Kuppersmith continued, “The Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act not only empowers but directs U.S. Custom officials to no longer operate under the presumption of innocence with companies importing goods tied to Xinjiang. Substantial evidence suggests Amazon has not done even the most basic due diligence. If Amazon continues to ignore this problem, customs officials have no choice but to intervene.”
Campaign for Accountability is a nonpartisan, nonprofit watchdog organization that uses research, litigation, and aggressive communications to expose misconduct and malfeasance in public life and hold those who act at the expense of the public good accountable for their actions.