In its annual letter to suppliers, Intel removed earlier references to Xinjiang after the company sparked a backlash in China for urging suppliers to avoid the area affected by the sanctions.
The backlash stemmed from a December 23 letter posted on Intel’s website that said Intel was “required to ensure that its supply chain does not use any labor or source goods or services from the Xinjiang region” amid restrictions imposed by “multiple governments.”
On Tuesday, however, any reference to Xinjiang or China was quietly dropped from the letter, which now states that the company prohibits “any human trafficked or involuntary labor such as forced, debt bonded, prison, indentured, or slave labor throughout your extended supply chains.”
Global corporations have come under pressure because they are inclined to comply with trade sanctions related to Xinjiang, while continuing to operate in China, one of their largest markets.
Intel’s removal of any reference to Xinjiang in its annual letter to suppliers has been heavily criticized by U.S. Senator Marco Rubio.
Rubio, one of four American politicians who introduced the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act last month, called it an act of cowardice by Intel.
For more information, read the original story in Reuters.