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Tesla opens showroom in Chinese province known for genocide

Employees work at a Tesla showroom in Beijing, China, on Tuesday. Associated Press/Photo by Ng Han Guan

Tesla opens showroom in Chinese province known for genocide

The electric car company posted, “Let’s start Xinjiang’s all-electric journey!” on New Year’s Eve. Its new showroom is located in Urumqi, the capital of the province where activists and world powers allege China’s ruling Communist Party has detained roughly 1 million members of the Uyghur ethnic minority in forced labor camps. The party has repeatedly denied accusations of genocide and claimed the camps where it is interning Uyghurs are job-training sites. Legislators and human rights groups demanded Tesla CEO Elon Musk close the showroom.

What is Musk thinking? China is one of Tesla’s biggest markets. The company already has numerous showrooms in the country. Chinese Communist officials have cracked down on businesses that question their human rights record in Xinjiang. They threatened a boycott of Walmart after shoppers in China complained they couldn’t find goods from the province in the company’s stores. Intel Corp., the world’s largest manufacturer of computer chips, apologized for asking suppliers to avoid goods from Xinjiang after the state press attacked the company and called for a boycott. The United States has banned imports from the region unless companies can prove the goods were not created using forced labor.

Dig deeper: Read my report in The Stew about diplomatic boycotts of the Beijing Olympics.

Carolina Lumetta

Carolina is a reporter for WORLD Digital. She is a World Journalism Institute and Wheaton College graduate. She resides in Harrisburg, Pa.



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