Elon Musk slammed for supporting genocide as new Tesla showroom opens in China

For many years, the Chinese government has been accused of locking up members of the minority Uyghur population "re-education camps”, and even of genocide against the Muslim ethnic group who live in the north-western region of Xinjiang.

And now Elon Musk, currently the richest man in the world, has been dragged into the row over China’s behaviour after his electric car company Tesla opened a showroom in Xinjiang.

China has rejected accusations of forced labour or any other abuses there, saying that the camps provide vocational training and that companies should respect its policies there.

The US electric car maker announced the showroom's opening in Xinjiang's regional capital, Urumqi, on its official Weibo account last Friday.

"On the last day of 2021 we meet in Xinjiang," it said in the post Sina Visitor System.

On Tuesday the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the largest U.S. Muslim advocacy organisation, criticised the move and said Tesla was "supporting genocide".

The United States has labelled China's treatment of ethnic Uyghurs and other Muslims in Xinjiang as genocide, and plans to boycott the Beijing Winter Olympics in February over the issue.

Stay in the loop with all the latest Daily Star news by signing up for one of our free newsletters here.

"Elon Musk must close Tesla's Xinjiang showroom," the Council on American-Islamic Relations said on its official Twitter account.

Similar criticism came from a US trade group, the Alliance for American Manufacturing, and senator Marco Rubio.

Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The carmaker operates a factory in Shanghai and is ramping up production there, amid surging sales in China.

A slew of foreign firms in recent months have been tripped up by tensions between the West and China over Xinjiang, as they try to balance Western pressure with China's importance as a market and supply base.

In July, Swedish fashion retailer H&M reported a 23% drop in local currency sales in China for its March-May quarter after it was hit by a consumer boycott in March for stating publicly that it did not source products from Xinjiang.

Last month, US chipmaker Intel faced similar calls after telling its suppliers not to source products or labour from Xinjiang, prompting it to apologise for "the trouble caused to our respected Chinese customers, partners and the public".

Although some have been trying to reduce their supply chain exposure to the region, especially as Washington bans imports such as Xinjiang cotton or blacklists Chinese companies that it says have aided Beijing's policy there, many foreign brands operate stores there.

Source: Read Full Article