How “Woke” Businesses are Benefiting From Labor Camps in China


The picture above is sourced from Robcounts

A newly released report from March, 2020 caught our eyes. It was an in-depth look into the realities of forced labor camps in China. The report states;

Uyghurs are working in factories that are in the supply chains of at least 83 well-known global brands in the technology, clothing and automotive sectors, including Apple, BMW, Gap, Huawei, Nike, Samsung, Sony and Volkswagen.”

The report goes on to use three different case studies:

  • In the first case study, a factory in eastern China that manufactures shoes for US company Nike is equipped with watchtowers, barbed-wire fences and police guard boxes.
  • The second case study was on another eastern province factory claiming to supply sportswear for multinational companies Adidas and Fila.
  • In the third case study, we identify several Chinese factories making components for Apple and/or their suppliers by using Uyghur labor.

Nike is the same company that temporarily severed ties with the Washington Redskins and virtue signaled by using Colin Kaepernick as the face of their brand. It would appear that their moral compass only works when a particular issue is in the public eye. The same can be said about Apple, and their brave statement on recent racial tensions in America. Thank you Apple for disavowing racism!

I could go on and list more examples but frankly their are too many to pick. I believe companies should stay out of the political discussion in general. Especially if they themselves, have engaged in morally questionable business practices.

The following is a list of companies that have directly or indirectly benefited from the use of Chinese forced labor:

  • Abercrombie & Fitchcer
  • Adidas
  • Alstom
  • Amazon
  • Apple
  • ASUS
  • BAIC Motor
  • BMW
  • Bombardier
  • Bosch
  • BYD
  • Calvin Klein
  • Candy
  • Carter’s
  • Cerruti 1881
  • Changan Automobile
  • Cisco
  • CRRC
  • Dell
  • Electrolux
  • Fila
  • Founder Group
  • GAC Group
  • Gap
  • Geely Auto
  • General Motors
  • Google
  • Goertek
  • H&M
  • Haier
  • Hart Schaffner Marx
  • Hisense
  • Hitachi
  • HP
  • HTC
  • Huawei
  • iFlyTek
  • Jack & Jones
  • Jaguar, Japan Display Inc.
  • L.L.Bean
  • Lacoste
  • Land Rover
  • Lenovo
  • LG
  • Li-Ning
  • Mayor
  • Meizu
  • Mercedes-Benz
  • MG
  • Microsoft
  • Mitsubishi
  • Mitsumi
  • Nike
  • Nintendo
  • Nokia
  • The North Face
  • Oculus
  • Oppo
  • Panasonic
  • Polo Ralph Lauren
  • Puma,
  • Roewe
  • SAIC Motor
  • Samsung,
  • SGMW,
  • Sharp
  • Siemens
  • Skechers
  • Sony
  • TDK
  • Tommy Hilfiger
  • Toshiba
  • Tsinghua
  • Tongfang
  • Uniqlo
  • Victoria’s Secret
  • Vivo
  • Volkswagen
  • Xiaomi
  • Zara
  • Zegna
  • ZTE

The full study can be found here: https://www.aspi.org.au/report/uyghurs-sale

The cartoon is sourced from here: https://stakeholderxiv.wordpress.com/2015/03/31/just-think-about-it-utilitarian-ethics-behind-nikes-questionable-corporate-comeback/

How Big Tech is Quietly Creating a New Era of Corporate Dictatorship

Several pieces of literature and media have depicted our future world as a bleak corporate like dictatorship. A world where only a handful of powerful companies own everything we eat, see and do. The mental imagery is vivid, and may even elicit a few eyerolls from most who see the concept as cheesy and far-fetched. Unfortunately, several big tech companies are making such a reality inevitable. 

In the past decade, a handful of Big Tech giants have been quietly buying the intellectual rights to everything they can get their hands on. In 2019 alone; Samsung, IBM, LG, Microsoft & Intel have filed 24,637 patents

1International Business Machines Corp9,262
2Samsung Electronics Co Ltd6,469
3Canon Inc3,548
4Microsoft Technology Licensing LLC3,081
5Intel Corp3,020
6LG Electronics Inc2,805
7Apple Inc2,490
8Ford Global Technologies LLC2,468
9Amazon Technologies Inc2,427
10Huawei Technologies Co Ltd2,418

The data above only accounts for new patents filed in 2019. If you were to zoom out and look at the big picture and see how many patents were filed all in all, it gets much worse:

1Samsung Electronics Co Ltd76,638
2International Business Machines Corp37,304
3Canon Inc35,724
4General Electric Co30,010
5Microsoft Corp29,824
6Robert Bosch GmbH28,285
7Panasonic Corp27,298
8Siemens AG25,320
9Intel Corp24,628
10LG Electronics Inc23,043
A staggering 191,434 patents! Just for 5 companies alone!

This trend will put our advancement as a species in the hands of powerful tech giants. The common man will stand in the shadows and watch, as big tech companies stifle private innovation. Hopefully we aren’t all complicit by simply ignoring the issue. Our eagerness to buy the newest Iphone, shouldn’t distract us from the harrowing implications of patent hoarding tech companies.

References:

https://www.ificlaims.com/rankings-global-assets-2019.htm

https://www.ificlaims.com/rankings-top-50-2019.htm

Cartoon is from: http://www.esprittoday.com/can-replicate-silicon-valleys-success/