China companies supplying components to the U.S. are now avoiding workers from Xinjiang.
Sources said several companies supplying items to U.S. companies such as Apple and Nike have phased out Uyghur factory workers and ceased all hiring from Xinjiang.
The U.S. and its allies have increased their scrutiny of alleged forced labor in China's remote northwestern region. The U.S. has sent out repeated warnings to companies that have businesses and investments in Xinjiang. Officials said those who continue to do business in the region might face legal action.
Internal sources said Lens Technology Co. Ltd - a supplier of smartphone touch screens to Apple and other U.S. companies - has completely gotten rid of its Uyghur factory workers supplied by a state-backed labor program. A former staff member who declined to be identified said the company had put out a notice it would no longer be accepting applicants from Xinjiang.
Hubei Haixin Protective Products Group Co. Ltd. - a personal protective equipment manufacturer that ships most of its products to the U.S. - is also no longer employing workers from Xinjiang. A source said the company had announced that it would no longer be renewing the contracts of Xinjiang employees.
One of Nike's largest sneakers suppliers - Taekwang Industrial Co. Ltd. - had already fired all of its Xinjiang workers, sources said. Nike said in a post on its website earlier in the year that it no longer buys products manufactured by Xinjiang laborers.
The U.S. has openly accused China of "genocide" and other human rights violations over the government's alleged persecution of Uyghur Muslims and other minorities in the Xinjiang region. As part of its efforts to halt the alleged violations, the U.S. had imposed an import ban on several Xinjiang-produced products such as cotton, tomatoes and solar panel components.
Last week, the U.S. Senate passed the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act. The bipartisan bill will effectively ban all goods produced by Xinjiang workers when it is passed into law.
China has repeatedly denied all allegations of human rights abuses. Officials said state-run labor programs of Uyghur and other minorities are part of its wider poverty alleviation initiative.