Chinese solar companies linked to the use of forced labor

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Xiaojing Sun, senior research analyst at Wood Mackenzie, said solar companies are starting to investigate their exposure in Xinjiang and reconfigure their supply chains to avoid the region if possible.

In a note to investors in October, analysts at Roth Capital Partners said the solar sector faces “increased risk of disruption” because of its ties to Xinjiang.

“Investors are getting nervous,” Ms. Sun said.

The The Solar Energy Industries Association, the largest industry association in the United States, has called human rights violations in Xinjiang “reprehensible” and strongly urged companies “to immediately move their supply chains out of the region.”

Since unrestricted access to Xinjiang on the ground for foreign journalists and researchers is virtually impossible, Horizon Advisory researchers do not provide direct testimony on forced labor. Instead, they exhibit signs of possible coercion from Chinese-language documents and reports, such as programs that may use high-pressure recruiting techniques, indoctrinate workers with a patriotic or military education, or restrict their movements.

The report documents that GCL-Poly accepted a “labor surplus” from rural Xinjiang last year. In 2018, according to an article on China Energy Net, a local news site, one of GCL-Poly’s subsidiaries, also accepted more than 60 of these workers.

A local subsidiary of Jinko Solar, Xinjiang Jinko Energy Co., received state subsidies in May to employ local labor from Xinjiang, including at least 40 “poor workers from southern Xinjiang,” according to the report. a statement. local government announcement of July 2020 cited by Horizon Advisory.

On its public WeChat account, East Hope Group said it had “answered the national call for western development and actively participated in the development and construction of Xinjiang,” including building a polysilicon project in the prefecture of Changji in 2016, according to the Horizon report.

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