Apple 'found no evidence' of Uighur Muslim forced labor in supply chain

Tim Cook
Tim Cook (Image credit: Apple)

What you need to know

  • An Apple supplier was blacklisted by Washington over alleged human rights abuses.
  • It is alleged that O-Film Group may be connected to the forced labor of Uighur Muslims in China.
  • Apple says it has investigated the matter.

Apple has said that it began an immediate, detailed investigation into allegations its supplier Nanchang O-Film Tech was connected to the forced labor of Uighur Muslims in China.

As The NY Times reports:

In a statement, Apple said that it had immediately begun a detailed investigation of Nanchang O-Film Tech, one of its suppliers that appeared on the list, when it learned of the allegations earlier this year. Apple dispatched independent third-party investigators to O-Film's facilities in March, and then conducted surprise audits in June and July, including verifying employee documentation and interviewing with workers in local languages, it said.

It emerged yesterday that O-Film was one of 11 companies 'blacklisted' by Washington over the allegations, other affected companies include suppliers of Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger and Hugo Boss. From yesterday's report:

A key Apple supplier has been blacklisted by the U.S. Commerce Department over alleged human rights abuses involving Uighur Muslims in China.As Nikkei Asian Review reports:Washington has blacklisted a key Apple supplier as part of its latest crackdown on Chinese tech companies, a move that is expected to shake up consumer electronics supply chains and hasten the ongoing decoupling of the world's two largest economies.Camera and touch module supplier O-Film Group was one of 11 Chinese companies added to the U.S. Commerce Department's Entity List on Monday over alleged human rights abuses involving China's Uighur Muslim minority.

In a statement Apple said it was "dedicated to ensuring everyone in our supply chain is treated with dignity and respect." It further noted that it had "found no evidence of any forced labor on Apple production lines" and that it planned to "continue monitoring."

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design. Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9