UHRP Applauds US Action to Address Uyghur Forced Labor in China’s Solar Industry

White House Fact Sheet Solar 1

June 25, 2021 10:05 a.m. EDT
For Immediate Release
Contact: Omer Kanat +1 (202) 790-1795, Peter Irwin +1 (646) 906-7722

The Uyghur Human Rights Project (UHRP) applauds the White House for acting on the G7 Summit joint commitment to end forced labor in global supply chains. US Customs and Border Protection announced a Withhold Release Order (WRO) on silica-based products made by Hoshine Silicon Industry Company, and the Commerce Department made five additions to its export-control Entity List. The Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps (XPCC) was sanctioned for the fourth time since October 2019.

The White House announcement brings the total to 57 entities now on the export control list for their connection to repression of Uyghurs, including 35 companies and 22 government entities. Together with previous WROs, Global Magnitsky sanctions, and a visa ban, the U.S. has imposed a total of 79 punitive sanctions since October 2019 to address the Uyghur crisis.

“Uyghurs are pleased that the US government is finally addressing the global solar industry’s complicity in Uyghur forced labor,” said UHRP Executive Director Omer Kanat in a statement. “But seven countries signed the G7 statement condemning forced labor. Other countries must also take action.”

The Commerce Department added four Chinese companies to the export-ban “entity” list, including Hoshine Silicon Industry (Shanshan) Co., Ltd., Xinjiang Daqo New Energy Co., Ltd., Xinjiang East Hope Nonferrous Metals Co., Ltd., and Xinjiang GCL New Energy Material Technology Co., Ltd.. 

The XPCC —the paramilitary unit that controls a large portion of the Uyghur Region—was also added to the Entity List. This follows three previous human-rights sanctions on the same entity. The US imposed Global Magnitsky sanctions on the XPCC in July 2020, banned the import of XPCC-produced cotton in December 2020, and banned exports to the XPCC Public Security Bureau in October 2019.

Three of the newly sanctioned companies are publicly traded (one on the NYSE) and held by major index funds. Investors should immediately implement a divestment strategy to ensure they are not profiting from ownership of these sanctioned companies. 

Many solar companies have signed a Solar Energy Industries Association pledge, which seeks to improve traceability in the supply chain, but government action is necessary to hold companies accountable to these commitments. 

Read more:

60 groups urge passage of Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, May 26, 2021

Shocking New Report Exposes Solar Industry’s Reliance on Uyghur Forced Labour, May 14, 2021

UHRP welcomes tomato and cotton bans to end complicity with Uyghur forced labor, calls on the ILO to break silence, January 12, 2021

UHRP praises European Parliament resolution, urges strong collective action against Uyghur forced labor, December 17, 2020

UHRP hails action to end import of cotton products from Chinese paramilitary conglomerate in the Uyghur Region, December 2, 2020

Congressional Testimony of Nury Turkel, UHRP Board Chairman, on Forced Labor, Mass Internment, and Social Control in Xinjiang, October 17, 2019

The Bingtuan [XPCC]: China’s Paramilitary Colonizing Force in East Turkistan, April 26, 2018