Nintendo Investigated Report Of Forced Uighur Labour

Nintendo Investigated Report Of Forced Uighur Labour
Photo: Behrouz MEHRI / AFP, Getty Images

In autumn 2020, the BBC reported that tens of thousands from China’s Uighur ethnic minority group were being forced into factory labour, having no choice whether or not to work in the global supply chain for products made by 83 global brands.

The news came from the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, which said the scheme was part of a central government policy in China and that foreign and Chinese companies were “possibly unknowingly” violating human rights. The institute added that Uighurs were even being moved from detention centres into factories. The actual ASPI report lists companies like Apple, Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo.

“Companies using forced Uighur labour in their supply chains could find themselves in breach of laws which prohibit the importation of goods made with forced labour or mandate disclosure of forced labour supply chain risks,” the report read.

During Nintendo’s most recent shareholder meeting, the company’s president Shuntaro Furukawa was asked about this report. “We as a company are aware of the news report that Uighurs might have been forced into labour at factories in our supply chain,” he replied. “However, as for the factory identified in the report, as far as we investigated, we could not confirm records of it being one of our business partners.”

The report mentioned Dongguan Yidong Electronic Co. Ltd, which apparently listed Nintendo as a partner on its website. Foxconn’s Zhengzhou facility was also identified in the report, and while Foxconn has been a Nintendo supply chain partner, it’s unclear if that specific factory — which is best known for its iPhone production lines — is also a factory for Nintendo hardware.

“Moreover,” Fukukawa continued, “we have never been informed that there was forced labour in our supply chain.” OK, but do factories that are violating human rights tell others what’s going on? Also, how much do companies really know what’s going on in their partners’ factories?

Furukawa added that Nintendo does have its own Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) guidelines and asks partners to comply. The company, he continued, has a policy of suspending dealings if there are forced labour or other serious risks. “As a global enterprise, we will continue to work with our production partners to put into practice ethical policies for manufacturing, labour, and procurement to carry out high-quality mass production.” The exec stressed that this was not limited to the Uighur people, nor to hardware and peripherals, as Nintendo also uses its CSR guidelines for apparel.

Comments

  • The ASPI? That sinophobic rag? I get that they’re the source, but is it morally right to link to them, considering how they’ve fueled sinophobia in Australia?

  • ‘The news came from the Australian Strategic Policy Institute…’ Quick, our overlords have issued a ‘recommendation’, please give us a minute while we fetch. I assume it’s also going to quote the German quack’s research regarding Uighur’s who they so comfortably refer to when it suits their narrative. I have no love for the commies but if the American hawks want us to poke the dragon they can do it themselves.

  • Spot the CCP bots! We have comments from two already! did you get an increase in your social credit bots?

    #TaiwanNumber1

    • I now wonder if Nintendo moving its supply chain elsewhere for the Switch was due to these concerns. When you look at the response to Disney filming Mulan in a concentration camp, it was a smart move on their part regardless of the money. They wouldn’t recover from that sort of PR.

      Also, fuck the CCP.

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