Activists slam Elon Musk for opening showroom in 'focal point of genocide,' Xinjiang

WION Web Team
Washington, United States Published: Jan 04, 2022, 05:23 PM(IST)

Tesla CEO Elon Musk speaks during the Tesla China-made Model 3 Delivery Ceremony in Shanghai. Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

Washington has banned imports of Xinjiang cotton and blacklists Chinese companies that it says have aided Beijing's policy there

Activists have criticised Tesla CEO Elon Musk for opening a new showroom in Xinjiang despite concerns about human rights abuse.

The South African billionaire took to micro-blogging platform Twitter to make the announcement and said, “Let’s start Xinjiang’s all-electric journey!”

"Elon Musk must close Tesla’s Xinjiang showroom," Council on American-Islamic Relations said on its official Twitter account.

“No American corporation should be doing business in a region that is the focal point of a campaign of genocide targeting a religious and ethnic minority,” said the group’s communications director, Ibrahim Hooper, said in a statement.

Also read | 'Stupidity and shorted-sightedness': China warns Walmart and Sam's Club over removal of Xinjiang products

US trade group, the Alliance for American Manufacturing, and US senator Marco Rubio also condemned the decision.

Pressure on foreign companies to take positions on Xinjiang, Tibet, Taiwan and other politically charged issues has been rising.

Activists and foreign governments say some 1 million Uyghurs and members of other mostly Muslim minorities have been confined in detention camps in Xinjiang.

Also read | Intel apologises to Chinese population for hurting their sentiments over Xinjiang comments

China has rejected accusations of forced labour or any other abuses there, saying that the camps provide vocational training and that companies should respect its policies there.

The United States and a few other countries announced a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics in February over the issue.

Washington has banned imports of Xinjiang cotton and blacklists Chinese companies that it says have aided Beijing's policy there.

China's ruling Communist Party pushes companies to adopt its positions in their advertising and on websites. It has attacked clothing and other brands that express concern about reports of forced labour and other abuses in Xinjiang.

This includes Swedish fashion retailer H&M, Intel Corp., the world’s biggest maker of computer chips and Walmart Inc. All of them had openly criticised China over Xinjiang and as a result had faced boycott campaigns in the country.

(With inputs from agencies)

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