Tesla has come under fire from US human rights groups after opening a branch in the Chinese province of Xinjiang. The largest Muslim organization in the United States accused the company on Tuesday of “supporting genocide”. “Elon Musk should shut down the Tesla agency in Xinjiang,” the Council on American-Islamic Relations wrote on Twitter. Similar comments were made by a leading US trade association and US Senator Marco Rubio. Tesla initially did not respond to a request for comment.
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The US government accuses China of committing genocide in the Uighur-majority province of Xinjiang, and thus declared a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics in February. Accordingly, there are also forced labor and re-education camps in Xinjiang. China rejects these allegations. Tesla announced the opening of showrooms in the provincial capital, Urumqi, on Friday via Chinese SMS service Weibo.
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Western companies are in conflict because of the conflict: many are trying to abandon suppliers from the province in western China in order to evade US sanctions. But for that they get into trouble in China. For example, Swedish apparel maker H&M was the target of a boycott in July, which led to a collapse in sales in the People’s Republic, something similar that happened to US chip maker Intel. (Reuters)
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