Intel strikes Xinjiang reference from memo after backlash

Intel has reportedly removed references in a letter to suppliers to Xinjiang, the region where the U.S. has accused China of committing genocide against the predominately Muslim Uyghur ethnic minority.

The change came after Intel initially said in the letter last month the company was “required to ensure our supply chain does not use any labor or source goods or services from the Xinjiang region,” The Wall Street Journal reported.

Now, the same letter makes no mention of Xinjiang, according to the Journal.

At the time of its publication, the letter cited restrictions of multiple governments as the reasoning for its stance. But following criticism from Chinese social media users and others, the company apologized and said it was simply intended to comply with U.S. laws rather than taking a political position. 

“We apologize 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,” the California-based company said at the time.

The Hill has reached out to Intel for comment. 

In an effort to address human rights abuses in the region, the Senate passed a bipartisan ban on imports from Xinjiang last month. The ban applies unless proof that forced labor was not used can be provided.

The U.S. has also announced a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, set to take place next month, as a result of the human rights abuses against the Uyghurs.