Intel’s leaders had to walk back a recent statement about their position on using products and services from companies in China’s Xinjiang region.
Reuters reports that while Intel asserts the original statement was simply a supply chain strategy, Chinese interests feel that the company is maligning China’s policy vis-à-vis the Xinjiang region and its Uighur ethnic population.
“Intel’s letter, on the company’s website and in several languages, sparked criticism in China from state and social media, with calls for a boycott,” wrote an unnamed Reuters reporter, publishing a statement reportedly released in Chinese from Intel:
“We apologize for the trouble caused to our respected Chinese customers, partners and the public. Intel is committed to becoming a trusted technology partner and accelerating joint development with China.”
Part of the confusion here would center around the question of how international partners can pursue ‘joint development’ while carefully avoiding co-sourcing?
Most of those who have been keeping up on the news are familiar with allegations of abusive practices and even claims of genocide against Uighurs in that area.
Then there are recently uncovered secret documents that purport to show Chinese Pres. Xi Jinping talking about the situation, and saying that a “stable security” is needed in order to facilitate China’s One Belt One Road project.
According to the documents, Jinping notes that Xinjiang is in a “painful period of interventionary treatment” and calls religious extremism “a powerful psychedelic drug.”
Other uncovered remarks include China’s Xinjiang Party Secretary Chen Quanguo calls for efforts to “round up all those who should be rounded up.”
As for Intel, which has assembly sites in Shanghai and elsewhere in China, the tight rope remains to be walked, in an environment where chipmakers are under heavy pressures from supply chain issues and more.
Last week, we reported on a spate of stories around new production for microprocessors. If you have portfolio holdings, you may look at the current news in terms of short-term movement but anticipate the eventual growth of the industry on a long-term basis.