Huawei is linked to China’s domestic spying in Xinjiang

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Chinese tech conglomerate Huawei has reportedly been linked to domestic spying in the Xinjiang region while building technology for labor and re-education camps as well as surveillance systems in the western Chinese region largely populated by Uyghur Muslims.

According to PowerPoint presentations obtained by The Washington Post, the tech giant’s work may have been involved in the “persecution against ethnic minorities in the region”.

A slide translated by the Post details a surveillance system used in Xinjiang.

“It talks about how public security forces in the region’s capital of Urumqi used a facial recognition system to catch a fugitive,” according to the report that came out on Tuesday.

However, the presentations for Huawei’s work on surveillance systems do not mention Uyghurs, and the company has denied directly supplying the tech to Xinjiang.

According to the report, one of the slides talks about Huawei’s products being “the foundation of the smart prisons unified platform,” with reference to labor for manufacturing and analysis of re-education efficiency.

In Xinjiang, up to two million people from Uyghur and other ethnic Muslim minorities have allegedly been put into internment camps, according to the US State Department.

The Chinese government has been accused of carrying out several human rights violations against the Uyghurs, putting them in detention and re-education camps, and using them for forced labor.

The US Treasury said this week that Chinese AI company SenseTime has been sanctioned because of the role its technology plays in enabling human rights abuses against the Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in Xinjiang — accusations that SenseTime has strongly denied.

The Uyghur Tribunal said last week that China, by the imposition of measures to prevent births intended to destroy a significant part of the Uyghurs in Xinjiang as such, has committed genocide.

The UK-based independent Tribunal said that torture of Uyghurs attributable to China is established beyond a reasonable doubt.

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has mounted multifaceted and multiplatform information campaigns to deny accusations of forced labor, mass detention, surveillance, sterilization, cultural erasure, and alleged genocide in the Xinjiang region.

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