Some Apple suppliers in China are reportedly saying they won't hire minorities like Uyghur Muslims in job postings

apple tim cook
Apple CEO Tim Cook on November 20, 2019.

  • The Information viewed jobs listings from Apple suppliers in China explicitly saying Uyghurs are excluded.
  • The outlet previously reported some Apple suppliers were linked to suspected forced labor of the minority group.
  • Human rights activists have condemned China for its persecution and detainment of 1 million Uyghurs.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Some Apple suppliers in China aren’t accepting minority job applicants and are explicitly saying members of marginalized groups should not apply, according to a Tuesday report by The Information.

The news site found discriminatory online job listings from companies that produce parts for iPhones, iPads, and AirPods, like circuit boards, iPhone glass, data cables, and camera lenses. Foxconn Technology is one of the companies whose ads were found.

One job listing in April from the company Biel Crystal, which makes iPhone glass, read: “Tibetans, Uyghurs, Hui, Yi, Dongxiang from Tibet or Xinjiang regions aren’t accepted,” per the report. Another from Cathay Tat Ming, which manufactures iPhone parts, read that only “minorities without dietary restrictions are accepted (Uyghurs excluded).”

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Apple relies heavily on its supply chain in China, and The Information reported that the more than 30 Apple suppliers that posted the discriminatory job listings collectively employ more than 1 million people. The outlet also noted that by outsourcing its production to suppliers in China, it’s difficult for Apple to monitor potential violations in company code.

The news comes after the outlet previously reported some Apple suppliers were linked to suspected forced labor of Uyghur Muslims and other minority groups from the Xinjiang region. A March 2020 report from the Australian Strategic Policy Institute also found connections between Apple suppliers and forced Uyghur labor.

“The real irony here is that these companies discriminate against religious and ethnic minorities while utilizing forced labor from Xinjiang,” Katie Paul, director of the Tech Transparency Project, told The Information.

Apple has long denied that its suppliers use forced Uyghur labor.

Human Rights Watch estimates 1 million Uyghur Muslims are being persecuted in China. The country has detained the marginalized community in internment camps and has forced them to abandon their culture for Chinese customs, like the Mandarin language.

China has pushed back on the characterization of the camps, claiming they are for “reeducation” purposes. The ruling party has called Uyghur Muslims terrorists and religious extremists.

If they refuse to participate in the work camps, they are sent to jail. Reports have surfaced of torture at these camps, including one woman who said she witnessed a gang rape and medical experiments on the prisoners while she was teaching Chinese propaganda in the camps. The government has also been accused of sterilizing Uyghur women.

International human rights advocates and countries around the world have condemned China’s actions. Human Rights Watch said in April that China is committing “crimes against humanity” through its prison centers for Uyghurs.

President Joe Biden earlier this month expanded on an executive order prohibiting US investment into some Chinese companies whose surveillance technology has been used against Uyghur Muslims.