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Current Affairs

Elon Musk facing backlash in China

Date: 07 January 2022 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk is facing anger in China for some of his recent ventures.

 

Background

Musk has been making efforts to increase his presence in China but he is not finding favor among Chinese.

 

Details

  • Musk had recently announced that Tesla was opening a showroom of its electric car in Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang region.

  • The Xinjiang is at the epicenter for protest against the alleged genocide committed by the Chinese government against religious and ethnic Muslim minorities.

  • Many activists in both China and abroad have criticized the move. Several companies have already announced their departure from associating with Xinjiang.

 

US role in Xinjiang boycott

  • President Joe Biden’s administration has prevented goods made by ethnic Uighur forced labourers from reaching US market.

  • The government has already announced diplomatic boycott of Winter Olympics. Many senators have slammed the move by Tesla.

 

China’s issues with SpaceX

  • There have been reports that SpaceX satellites threaten Chinese space station. Calls have been made to sanction SpaceX.

  • China’s space station, known as Tiangong, recently was forced to take evasion measures to protect itself from SpaceX’s Starlink satellites.

 

American companies facing problems in China

  • Many American companies have come under fire for taking or not taking a stand on contentious issues in China such as Uighurs, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

  • Walmart had recently faced criticism from China for taking off Xinjiang-made goods from its shelves.

  • Similarly, Intel was forced to apologize for asking its suppliers to refrain from sourcing goods from Xinjiang.

 

Uighurs

  • Uighurs are nomadic ethnic Turkic people native to China’s northwestern Xinjiang region. They practice Islam religion.

  • Their faith has put them at cross-roads with the Communist Party of China which considers Uighurs as impediment in establishing an atheist society.

  • The government has been accused of state-sponsored oppression and discrimination against Uighurs. They allegedly run re-education camps that enslave Uighurs.