This time, by Intel’s Chairman Omar Ishrak and CEO Pat Gelsinger. This management team, a short time ago, sent out a letter to Intel suppliers asking them to avoid sourcing from the [People’s Republic of China’s] region of Xinjiang, where the Chinese government has conducted a campaign of forcible assimilation against religious minorities.
Intel called on its business partners to steer clear of the remote northwestern region of China, noting that “multiple governments have imposed restrictions on products sourced from the Xinjiang region. Therefore, Intel is required to ensure our supply chain does not use any labor or source goods or services from the Xinjiang region.”
After a hue and cry on PRC social media, though, Ishrak and Gelsinger cringed and ducked under their separate desks, and had the company issue a carefully unsigned corporate statement expressing “Intel’s” regret over having offended the PRC.
…its letter was written only to comply with US law and didn’t represent Intel’s stance on Xinjiang.
Please don’t hurt us, please. We didn’t mean it. And this plea:
We deeply apologize for the confusion caused to our respected Chinese customers, partners, and the public[.]
There’s this, too, illustrating the artificial nature of the conundrum:
Multinational companies have been caught in the middle as Western governments have pressured companies to disentangle their supply chains from Xinjiang.
No, they’re not caught in any middle. They just need to find the moral courage to shift their supply sources and their markets out of the PRC. They have the economic wherewithal, even if the transition processes will be near-term expensive. An earlier First Lady identified the position to take: “Just say no.” Even that infamous shoe-maker, Nike, has the right words, if not the integrity to honor them: “Just do it.”
Never mind that it’s PRC President Xi Jinping and his Chinese Communist Party cronies who should be apologizing for their ongoing atrocities against Uyghurs in Xinjiang.
This is disgusting cowardice, and it should be unacceptable for American company managers to put lucre from the PRC above morality.