The investigative news site learned from company employees and documents that seven suppliers, which assemble Apple’s products and make its device components, have strong connections to the use of forced labor.
Only one of the companies, Advanced-Connectek, has a factory in Xinjiang, where the Chinese enslave and surveil the Uyghur Muslims.
But the Chinese have shipped Uyghurs from their native region in the western desert to factories in the east.
Five of these companies — including Apple’s largest supplier Luxshare — obtained thousands of Uyghur and other minority workers at factory locations that produce Apple products.
Avary Holding, a circuit board manufacturer located in Huai’an near China’s eastern coast, received 400 people from Xinjiang last year. The company denied the claim.
Shenzhen Deren Electronic, an antenna and cable producer for Apple, also obtained 1,000 laborers from Xinjiang.
AcBel Polytech, another Apple supplier, released a video that explains the company’s use of forced labor in 2018 and 2019.
Lens Technology, which creates glass for iPhones, has obtained 600 people from Xinjiang since 2018.
Despite mounting evidence, Apple has denied its support for slave labor.
The company said last December that it has “zero tolerance for forced labor” after the Tech Transparency Project found that “Apple’s use of forced labor in its supply chain goes far beyond what the company has acknowledged,” Business Insider reported.
The Australian Strategic Policy Institute in March 2020 also found that Apple’s suppliers use slave labor.
Other international corporations, like Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and Facebook, had connections with the same Apple suppliers that use slave labor.