3 Big US Retailers Withdraw Products From Companies Involved in Human Rights Violations in China

Three US retail giants have recalled products made by surveillance technology specialists Lorex and Ezviz after the media published that the two companies were involved in human rights abuses in China’s Xinjiang region, home to ethnic Uighurs and other Muslim minority groups.

According to reports from American online media TechCrunch and video surveillance news site IPMV, retail giants such as Best Buy, Home Depot and Lowe’s have terminated contracts with Lorex and Ezviz after the two outlets questioned their partnership.

In an email to Mouab Mandarin, Home Depot said it had stopped selling Lorex and Ezviz products. “We are committed to implementing the highest standards in our procurement ethics and we immediately stopped selling these products when we were informed of the issue,” explains Home Depot. This statement can also be found on the company’s official website.

Best Buy, the US retailer for electronic goods, told TechCrunch that it had “terminated” with Lorex and Ezviz. Meanwhile Lowe’s, a US homeware retailer, did not respond when contacted by Mouab Mandarin. However based on a recent search on their website, Lorex or Ezviz surveillance products are no longer available.

Ethnic minority Uighurs undergo job training in camps "betrayal" di Hotan, Xinjiang (photo: doc).

Ethnic minority Uighurs undergo job training at a “re-education” camp in Hotan, Xinjiang (photo: doc).

Lorex is a subsidiary of Dahua Technology. Meanwhile, Ezviz is Hikvision’s video surveillance camera brand. Dahua and Hikvision were blacklisted by the US government in 2019 for supplying technology that Beijing uses to monitor ethnic groups.

But because the 2019 sanctions only cover sales to US federal government agencies, Lorex and Ezviz companies remain free to sell their products to private sector buyers.

The growth of Chinese companies in the surveillance tools sector illustrates Beijing’s growing reliance on technological tools to monitor the lives of its citizens in Xinjiang and to expand its already extensive surveillance infrastructure across China.

According to Human Rights Watch, the Xinjiang Public Security Bureau uses what it calls the Unified Joint Operations Platform, a system that collects population data through iris scanners, digital cameras with facial recognition, DNA samples and cell phone data.

In its China State Report on Human Rights Practices 2020, the State Department said Hikvision and other technology companies were involved with developing a “Uighur alarm” that uses a facial-scanning camera system.

Chinese flags visible along the road to the camp "betrayal" on the outskirts of Hotan, Xinjiang (photo: doc).

Chinese flags are seen along the road leading to a “re-education” camp on the outskirts of Hotan, Xinjiang (photo: doc).

The report states that the Chinese government has committed gross human rights violations against ethnic Uighurs, including the “mass detention of more than one million ethnic Uighurs and members of other Muslim minority groups in extrajudicial internment camps and two million others subject to ‘re-education training’. ‘ which takes place during the day.”

The Chinese government, which accuses ethnic Uighurs of upholding extremist and separatist ideas, denies the accusations, saying the camps in Xinjiang are places of “re-education” aimed at combating terrorism. [dw/pp]

Check Also

China’s Military Power Is Expected To Overtake The US And Russia In The Near Future

A US military general warned that it was only a matter of time before China’s …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.