Tesla criticized for opening showroom in Xinjiang, northwest China

Tesla, the firm of Elon Musk, faces a lot of criticism for opening a showroom in Urumqi, capital of Xinjiang, a region in northwest China, where the Beijing regime practices forced assimilation and internment. Muslim minorities. The company bragged about it on the Chinese equivalent of Twitter: “For 2022, let’s launch Xinjiang’s electric journey together!” » Elon Musk is particularly popular in China, his first overseas market, where he opened a Tesla factory in Shanghai in 2018.

He visibly mocks the political pressure imposed on Beijing by Joe Biden and the United States Congress: in December 2021, Washington banned the import of goods from Xinjiang, where the Chinese regime is accused of using forced laborers. “If you are a company that produces in this region, you will have to prove that it was not slaves who made them. The presumption weighs on you,” declared one of the co-authors of the law which will apply in March, the Republican senator from Florida, Marco Rubio. If Tesla does not produce locally, it is indicted. “Elon Musk and Tesla must shut down this new showroom and stop what amounts to economic support for genocide,” demanded Ibrahim Hooper, director of communications for the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

Read also US bans import of forced labor products from Xinjiang

US companies criticized by China

This showroom opening takes place while Elon Musk is in the crosshairs of the Chinese for another affair, that of the satellites launched by the hundreds by his company SpaceX. The Chinese have filed a complaint with the United Nations, accusing Mr. Musk’s satellites of having endangered their orbital station during launches in July and October 2021.

Other American companies have been criticized, caught between the demands of the Chinese and those of the West. So it is with Intel. The microprocessor manufacturer had asked its suppliers to avoid sourcing from Xinjiang and had to apologize to the Chinese on December 23, 2021, after being the subject of a protest campaign on social networks. “Although our original intention was to ensure compliance with US laws, this letter has raised many questions and concerns among our dear Chinese partners, which we deeply regret,” wrote the company.

Read also Article reserved for our subscribers “Elon Musk has every interest in keeping a low profile” in China

Similarly, Walmart was the subject of a campaign by Chinese consumers, after they realized that the American supermarket giant had removed products from the region, such as dates, from the shelves of its Sam’s Club chain. and grapes. Chinese authorities accused Walmart of “stupidity” and of “short-sighted”.

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