Intel apologised to Chinese customers, partners, and the general public on Thursday after a letter
instructing its suppliers not to purchase products or labour from the western region of Xinjiang
sparked outrage.
Following restrictions imposed by “multiple governments,” Intel recently published what it described
as an annual letter to suppliers, dated December, in which it stated that it had been “required to
ensure that its supply chain does not use any labour or source goods or services from the Xinjiang
The message, which was posted on the company’s website and translated into many languages, drew
condemnation from Chinese state and social media, as well as calls for a boycott.
Intel said its promise to avoid supply chains from Xinjiang was an expression of compliance with US
law, not a declaration of its view on the topic, in a Chinese-language statement posted on its official
WeChat and Weibo accounts on Thursday.
“We apologise for the trouble caused to our respected Chinese customers, partners and the public.
Intel is committed to becoming a trusted technology partner and accelerating joint development with
China,” Intel said.
Intel did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
It is the latest multinational to face criticism as it seeks to comply with Xinjiang bans while
maintaining operations in China, a large market and supply base.
More than a million individuals, mostly Uyghurs and members of other Muslim minorities, have been
incarcerated in a system of camps in Xinjiang in recent years, according to UN experts and rights
groups. China denies human rights violations in Xinjiang and claims that its policies there aid in the
fight against extremism.
Singer Karry Wang said on China’s Twitter-like Weibo that he would no longer be an Intel brand
ambassador, saying in a statement that “national interests above everything.”
Many Weibo users mocked Intel’s apology, claiming it was an attempt to safeguard Chinese sales “A
blunder is a blunder! Retract your Xinjiang statement!”
The hashtag “Is Intel`s apology sincere?” was trending on Weibo on Thursday afternoon.
Intel apologised, saying it “recognised the sensitivity of the subject in China.” Intel employs 10,000
employees in China.
Shanghai and Chengdu are the company’s assembly and test centres in China.
In July, Swedish fashion retailer H&M reported a 23% hit in local currency sales in China for its March-
May quarter after it expressed concerns about human rights in Xinjiang.