Apple Whitewashes Its China Human Rights Record

An iPhone assembly worker in China/PHOTO: DanielFoster437 via Flickr (CC)

On the heels of reports that slave labor is utilized in the supply chain for the manufacturing of its products — and that it lobbies in Washington DC to fend off penalties for doing so — Apple released its “People and Environment in Our Supply Chain” review last week, which it produces annually.

In keeping with its past statements in response to claims of labor abuses — especially among its suppliers in China — Apple denied that its parts providers and product assemblers use coerced labor.

The annual report, which focused on fiscal year 2020, attempted to affix evidence and data to Apple’s refutation about labor abuses. Among its in-house findings:

  • Only 9 “core violations” of supplier codes of conduct found, down from 17 in 2019 – C/NET reports “Seven of the nine cases in 2020 related to working hours
Read More ➡

As China is Called Out Over Genocide, BlackRock Sees a Business Opportunity

Larry Fink/IMAGE: YouTube

At a time when many nations in the West — including the United States — are condemning China for human rights abuses and genocide against the Muslim Uyghurs, investment firm BlackRock and CEO Larry Fink are doubling down on their business partnership with the communist government.

From Pensions & Investments:

Bing Ji was named general manager of BlackRock’s newly launched wealth management joint venture in Shanghai, BlackRock CCB Wealth Management, a spokeswoman confirmed Friday…

On Wednesday, BlackRock said that the joint venture it unveiled last August with a subsidiary of China Construction Bank and Singapore investment company Temasek had garnered regulatory approval to start operations…

BlackRock said it holds a majority 50.1% stake in BlackRock CCB Wealth Management. CCB Wealth Management Co., a wholly owned unit of China Construction Bank, has 40% and Temasek holds the remaining 9.9%.

The joint venture “will draw on BlackRock’s

Read More ➡

Will BlackRock Thwart Progress on China Human Rights?

Antony Blinken/PHOTO: US Embassy Moldova (CC)

BlackRock, the world’s biggest money manager, has successfully placed executives from its own ranks in key positions on President Joe Biden’s economic team.

Considering the firm’s clear emphasis on progressive policies in investment decisions – called Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) – it doesn’t surprise that its alumni would be among the economic decision-makers at the White House.

The BlackRock veterans are:

  • Mike Pyle, who will be Vice President Kamala Harris’s chief economic adviser. He was BlackRock’s Global Chief Investment Strategist after a stint in the Obama administration.
  • Brian Deese, who will be director of the National Economic Council. He was previously deputy director and also a senior advisor to Obama. For BlackRock, he was global head of sustainable investing.
  • Adewale “Wally” Adeyemo, who will be deputy secretary of the Treasury Department, if he is confirmed by the Senate. He was Obama’s senior
Read More ➡

REPORT: Apple Lobbying to Water Down Bill That Would Protect Uyghurs

Tim Cook in China

Last month National Legal and Policy Center reported, based on disclosure reports discovered by tech news Web site The Information, that Apple Inc. had hired a Washington lobbying firm to aid its efforts to modify the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act.

It wasn’t known at the time what influence Apple hoped to exert on the shaping of the bill, but considering the company’s extensive use of Chinese labor to assemble its products and their parts, the suspicion was that it hoped to ease any restrictions and penalties.

Now, two anonymous Congressional sources cited by the Washington Post say that Apple does want the legislation watered down. 

The Act seeks to force companies to ensure that they or their suppliers do not use coerced labor from the persecuted Muslim Uyghurs in the Xinjiang region of China. The people group has reportedly been subjected to persecution, … Read More ➡

Billboard Critical of LeBron James Hypocrisy on China is Censored

From the New York Post by Isabel Vincent:

Shot blocked.

A government watchdog recently tried to post a bold message on giant billboards during he NBA finals about LeBron James’ refusal to speak out against Chinese human-rights abuses, but was rejected by the sign company.

The Virginia-based National Legal and Policy Center was poised to spend “several hundred thousand dollars” on five billboard images showing the superstar with a Chinese flag covering his mouth and the message, “Silence is Violence.”

The billboards were set to be displayed near the entrance to the NBA Bubble near Orlando, Fla., where James’ LA Lakers are battling the Miami Heat for the NBA championship.

But Outfront Media refused to put up the ads for fear of upsetting the famously outspoken James, according to an email from the company viewed by The Post.

Click here to read the rest in the New York Post.… Read More ➡

Wall Street Journal Letter: Poor Larry Fink

The Wall Street Journal today published this letter from NLPC Chairman Peter Flaherty:

Pity the situation of BlackRock CEO Larry Fink, who finds himself being mau-maued by green activists at his annual stockholder meeting for not doing enough to disinvest from fossil-fuel companies.

One way he can expiate his sins is to disinvest in the 153 China-owned or controlled companies as our organization recently called on him to do. Besides covering up the pandemic spread in Wuhan, Communist China is a major human-rights abuser, “re-educating” Muslim Uighurs in prison camps, conducting digital surveillance of its citizens and cracking down on pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong.

Apparently, neither Mr. Fink’s idea of moral and socially responsible investing nor that of his so-called “progressive” critics takes into account these human-rights issues. The sixth circle of Dante’s hell punishes hypocrisy.

Read More ➡

Apple Shareholder Files Proposal on Free Speech

National Legal and Policy Center has submitted a shareholder proposal asking Apple Inc. to made a report on human rights, and specifically, free speech. The 2019 Apple annual meeting will take place in Cupertino, California in early 2019. Here is the text of the proposal and supporting statement:

Whereas, the Securities and Exchange Commission has consistently recognized that human rights constitute a significant policy issue.

Freedom of speech and association are fundamental human rights.

The Company operates in nations with systematic human rights abuses. The Company has abetted certain governments and non-governmental organizations in suppressing freedom of speech and association.

For example, our CEO in March 2018 co-chaired the so-called China Development Forum, sponsored by the Communist Chinese government. In December 2017, our CEO keynoted the World Internet Conference, another Chinese government event.

In February 2018, the Company transferred operation of its iCloud data center in mainland China to … Read More ➡