MORRISVILLE – Lenovo, the world’s largest PC producer and maker of devices ranging from smartphones to supercomputers, as well as tech giant Apple, are among many tech companies facing questions about the use of forced labor in their lives. Supply Chain.
The Associated Press reported on Thursday that Lenovo, Apple, Dell and HP were among the companies cited as customers of the Chinese company OFILM. The long history focuses on the city of Nanchang and the Muslim Uighurs.
“The connection between O-FILM, the supplier that owns the Nanchang plant, and the tech giants is the latest sign that companies outside of China are benefiting from coercive work practices imposed on Uighurs, a Turkish ethnic group. and other minorities, “said Associated Press.
Other O-FILM customers include LG, Samsung and Huawei.
In response to a request from WRAL TechWire for the report and a similar report from the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, Lenovo said through a spokesperson that it was taking action.
“Lenovo maintains all of its suppliers and vendors with high standards of ethics, quality and safety for all goods and services provided to our business. Likewise, we require compliance with all laws, rules and regulations relevant to the respective countries in which they operate, whether on our behalf or as standard business operations. Any allegation of irregularity or violation of these policies is taken seriously and investigated and immediate action is taken whenever necessary, “said Charlotte West of Lenovo.
Another report says that Lenovo suppliers use forced labor; tech giant says he’s taking action
“In accordance with our supplier code of conduct, all suppliers are audited every two years by an independent auditor approved by the RBA. O-Film was last verified in 2018 by the Responsible Business Alliance (RBA), with a very high score. It was due to be audited again in May 2020, but this was put forward in conjunction with a specific investigation into the conclusions of the ASPI report. “
She did not refer to the AP report.
“Lenovo has confirmed that it has obtained screens, cameras and fingerprint scanners from O-FILM, but has stated that it is not aware of the allegations and will investigate”, declared the AP.
“Lenovo also highlighted a 2018 audit by the Reliable Business Alliance in which OFILM achieved very good results.”
Lenovo is headquartered in Morrisville and Beijing. Although the company employs thousands of people worldwide, most of its operations are based in China.
The Associated Press noted that “the most recent list of Apple suppliers, published in January of last year, includes three OFILM factories in Nanchang.”
Apple told the AP that its “code of conduct requires suppliers to” provide channels that encourage employees to voice their concerns. “
Apple added that “it interviews suppliers’ employees during annual assessments in their local language without their managers being present, and had conducted 44,000 interviews in 2018”.
The AP noted that companies that responded to inquiries “have stated that they require suppliers to meet strict labor standards”.
“LG and Dell said they have” no evidence “of forced labor in their supply chains but that they will investigate, as will Huawei,” the newspaper added. The cabling service said HP “did not respond”.
Read the full report online.