China brags Intel’s backpedalling is a lesson for multinationals
New Delhi, Jan 11 (IANS) US chipmaker Intel has moved to delete a paragraph regarding northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region from an annual letter to suppliers, which sparked widespread anger among the Chinese public and prompted at least one partner, pop singer Wang Junkai, to sever ties with the company, Global Times reported.
The removal of the Xinjiang reference is another step taken by Intel to rescue its reputation in China. In late December last year, the company had said in a statement that it “deeply apologises” for the trouble caused to its “respected Chinese customers, partners and the public”, the report said.
Evidently, that apology was not sufficient to satisfy many Chinese citizens, who criticised the company for buying into US politicians’ lies about “forced labour” in Xinjiang in the first place, and only apologising later to save its businesses in the Chinese market. It seems that Intel has got that message, as it took a step further to remove the paragraph, the Chinese state media said.
According to Global Times, that should be a valuable lesson for many US and other foreign businesses, as they continue to or are likely to face mounting political pressure from US politicians to ban products from Xinjiang based on political lies.
Some, including apparently Wal-Mart, which has been accused of removing Xinjiang products from its shelves in China, will pay a price for it, if they undermine Chinese interests and offend Chinese consumers. Others, like US electric carmaker Tesla and Japanese clothing brand Uniqlo, have brushed off unreasonable US political pressure, the report said.
Global Times said that despite the viciousness of Intel’s initial letter, it is the US government which is pushing the lurid and ridiculous assertions of “forced labour” and “genocide” in Xinjiang, and actively forcing businesses to ban products from the region.
That’s the root cause for the troubles Intel and many US and other foreign businesses face in the Chinese market, and that remains intact, it added.