Report: Apple supplier bans Tibetans


According to a New York-based NGO, a Chinese supplier to Apple has banned Tibetans from working in their Chinese plants.

A report issued today by China Labor Watch (1) documents how factories of Apple supplier Pegatron Shanghai appear to discriminate against Tibetans (among other ethnic groups) in their recruitment policies. The report carries a photograph of what is reported to be a Pegatron recruitment poster, specifying their employment criteria. Free Tibet has translated the poster and can confirm that with regard to the “nationality” of employees, it states:

“Hui, Sala, Yi, Tibetan, Uighur etc. who have unique lifestyles and customs will not be accepted.”

According to China Labor Watch, Shanghai-based Pegatron assembles Apple devices such as smartphones and tablets in a number of Chinese factories (2). Labour supply is usually contracted out to other organisations, based on criteria set by Pegatron.

Ethnic discrimination in employment practices theoretically violates Chinese employment law (3). In practice, Tibetans and other “protected” groups report that they are frequently the victims of many forms of discrimination, both within Chinese-occupied Tibet and when living, travelling or seeking employment in China (4, 5).

Free Tibet Director Eleanor Byrne-Rosengren said:

“Discrimination against Tibetans in China is well-documented and is among the many reasons Tibetans so fiercely resist Chinese rule. If it is confirmed that this supplier to Apple is indeed banning Tibetans, Apple needs to provide a full and immediate explanation of how this has been allowed to happen.

“There is ample evidence that Tibetans face continuous and systematic discrimination in China regardless of theoretical legal protections. Any company operating in China, partnering with Chinese businesses or using Chinese suppliers needs to accept its responsibility for ensuring the rights of Tibetans and other employees are respected.”

Notes for editors

(1) China Labor Watch report Apple’s unkept promises
(2) China Labor Watch press release 29/7/13 [NOTE: does not directly refer to discrimination against Tibetans]
(3) The People’s Republic of China’s Employment Promotion Law of 2007 states “Employment units, in recruiting new employees, and employment agencies, in arranging job placements, shall provide workers with equal employment opportunities and equitable conditions of employment, and shall avoid discriminatory employment practices.”
(4) CBS News
(5) China Labor Bulletin

Alistair Currie
Campaigns and Media Officer
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Free Tibet
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