Biz / Tech

Intel apologizes for ordering suppliers to avoid Xinjiang products

Zhu Shenshen
Chip giant admits to "complicated and changing global environment" for its original concerns and apologizes to Chinese clients, partners and public.
Zhu Shenshen

Chip giant Intel Corp apologized on Thursday for a statement saying that its supply chain "should not use any labour or source goods or services" from Xinjiang.

The original comment has caused a wave of backlash against the company on China's social media since Wednesday.

Intel apologized to its Chinese clients, partners and the public, admitting that it faced a "complicated and changing" global environment, the company said on its Chinese-language WeChat account.

It had noticed "concerns and questions" and the issue's sensitivity in China, it said in a statement, which also mentioned it had been in China for 36 years now has over 10,000 employees.

As the world's top computer chipmaker, Intel had previously told its suppliers not to source products or workforces from Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in accordance with restrictions imposed by "multiple governments," the company said in a previous statement.

The initial statement was "absurd" as the company, which earned 26 percent of its total revenues from China in 2020, was "biting the hand that feeds it," Global Times said.

Intel is the latest multinational company facing Xinjiang supply chain issues, along with apparel and sports firms like H&M and Nike which claimed they would not use cotton from Xinjiang.

Famous singer Karry Wang said on Weibo he would stop being a brand ambassador for Intel services.

"National interests exceed everything," Wang said in his official studio account which has 10.8 million fans. The post attracted 519,000 "likes."

Within two hours of Intel's statement being made tday, it was read 12,000 times on WeChat. The company has closed comment on the statement.

Intel has built chip plants in China in cities like Shanghai and Dalian.

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