U.S. remote-control maker Universal Electronics Inc (UEIC.O) told Reuters it struck a deal with authorities in Xinjiang to transport hundreds of Uyghur workers to its plant in the southern Chinese city of Qinzhou. The first confirmed instance of an American company participating in a transfer program described by some rights groups as forced labor.
The Nasdaq-listed firm, which has sold its equipment and software to Sony, Samsung, L.G., Microsoft, and other tech and broadcast companies, has employed at least 400 Uyghur workers from the far-western region Xinjiang as part of an ongoing worker-transfer agreement.
Reuters could not interview plant workers and, therefore, could not determine whether they were compelled to work at UEI. However, the conditions they face bear hallmarks of standard definitions of forced labor, such as working in isolation, under police guards, and with restricted freedom of movement.
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