Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. based in Waltham Massachusetts has withdrawn from their business dealings in China.
Thermo Fisher Scientific supplied service genetic sequencers which may have been used to identify certain individuals in Xinjiang, enabling human rights abusers.
There are approximately one million Muslim minorities detained in political education camps in Xinjiang. The camps are training centers that have been designed to re-educate extremists. As soon as Thermo Fisher Scientific learned that their materials were being used to spy on people, they ended the supply.
The company defended its move, saying they have values and ethics and they recognize the importance of how their customers use their products. In this instance, their products are being used to spy on and then identify a certain individual, in a move to stop terrorism, according to China.
China is detaining Uighurs, Kazakhs and other Muslim minorities, in a huge crackdown. The crackdown has been criticized by the US and a range of other governments, saying China is abusing human rights. China talks about the camps as being vocational training centers.
In May 2018, an American congressional commission on China sent a letter asking that American technology should not be misused by Chinese police. Thermo Fisher Scientific has confirmed they will no longer sell genetic sequencers to governments, companies or individuals who may misuse them.
China is not known for its human rights. There are fears that the Chinese internment camps may spread all across the country, rather than being contained to Xinjiang. It is thought that the authorities in the Ningxia Province may have signed a deal with Xinjiang, to do a further crackdown. In the words of the Chinese authorities, this is all to ensure safety from extremist groups.
Such extremist groups may well just be people belonging to a different religion and not extremist in nature. Maya Wang, a human rights activist and a senior researcher on human rights in China, said the world should be worried about Xinjiang, and there are reasons to worry that the Xinjiang methods may spread to other regions of China.
Loudspeakers from mosques have been removed and the call to prayer has been banned. Fasting on religious days is not allowed and it is believed that Arabic script may have been removed. Re-education camps are growing in China and the rest of the world should be concerned.