Photo: "Apple Lisa Teardown" by eevblog is licensed under CC BY 2.0

A newly published investigation by The Information found that Apple’s suppliers allegedly use forced labour in the production. Working with two human rights group, The information have found seven companies supplying device components, coatings, and assembly services to Apple that are using suspected forced labour, involving Uyghur and other oppressed minorities in China.

Photo: "Apple Lisa Teardown" by eevblog is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The seven named companies are Advanced-Connectek, Luxshare Precision Industry, Shenzhen Deren Electronics Co., Avary Holding, AcBel Polytech, CN Innovations, and Suzhou Dongshan Precision Manufacturing Co. Six out of seven were said to participate in the Chinese government poverty alleviation program. The government built an industrial park close to the Uighur detention center and mobilized the detainees to work in the industrial park. Workers who refuse to join the work program were jailed, the report says.

Apple spokesperson told The Information that Apple “found no evidence of forced labor anywhere we operate.” Apple said it looks for forced labor as part of “every assessment” it conducts. “We will continue doing all we can to protect workers and ensure they are treated with dignity and respect,” the spokesperson said.

Apple’s reliance on China-based manufacturing has been a topic of debate for well over a decade. The subject came to the fore in 2010, when workers suicide at factories owned by Foxconn stoked rumors of iPhone sweatshops. The Information reports that the seven companies also possibly worked with other Big Techs such as Microsoft, Amazon, Google, and Facebook.

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