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Tesla at the heart of the controversy for one of its Chinese showrooms

It is an opening that is debating. According to the BBC, on December 31, Elon Musk’s company, Tesla, opened a new showroom in China, in the city of Urumqi. A town in Xinjiang province known to be home to Uyghurs, a Muslim population that the United Nations and human rights organizations have identified as a suppressed ethnic group. Many NGOs thus accuse China of torturing and locking up this minority in labor camps.

A situation that did not prevent Tesla from welcoming this new showroom. In a tweet, the electric car giant was delighted to put Xinjiang “on the path to electric”. “As the first Tesla center in Xinjiang, this location integrates sales, service and delivery,” the company said. A decision which, although welcomed by some in China, provoked many reactions on social networks in the West.

More than a million people detained

As detailed by the Guardian, US Senator Marco Rubio, author of a bill banning imports from the Chinese region unless the companies prove that the products are not made from forced labor, castigated this decision. In a tweet, he called out Tesla and the “nationalityless companies that help the Chinese Communist Party cover up genocide and forced labor in the region.” Comments to which Elon Musk’s company did not respond.

>> To read also – Uyghurs: products from forced labor soon banned in the EU?

As NBC reported last June, researchers from Amnesty International revealed that “Chinese authorities in the western region of Xinjiang rounded up women and men – largely Muslims from the Uyghur, Kazakh and Kyrgyz ethnic minorities – and held them in camps designed to rid them of terrorists or extremist tendencies since 2017”. According to the report, “more than a million Uyghurs and other minorities in Xinjiang are believed to be held in internment camps, where they are forced to study Marxism, renounce their religion […] and are victims of abuse”.



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