China Denies Report of Forced Labor Over Tesco Christmas Cards
Comment of the Day

December 23 2019

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

China Denies Report of Forced Labor Over Tesco Christmas Cards

This article by Corinne Gretler for Bloomberg may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section:

Such notes have been discovered in products sold by brands like Walmart Inc. and Saks Inc. in the past decade as western companies’ reliance on Chinese production has meant exposure to chains of sub-contractors that reportedly make use of prison labor. Low-cost sourcing in China has been a double-edged sword for companies caught up in questions over the provenance of the goods they sell.

Eoin Treacy's view

Prison labour is widespread in China but it would seem to be a major lapse in judgement to use prisoners in a facility warehousing English speaking journalists who could narrate messages to inmates.

Mrs. Treacy was offered highly attractive rates on prison labour for jewelry products in Guangdong as recently as 2015. Needless to say, she refused but the ease with which she ran in to people offering these kinds of services is what is worth considering. There is also a documentary on Netflix where clear accusations of forced labour in peeling garlic are showcased.

This is not a new story but the increasing media attention these human rights issues are gaining in Western media is evidence of a more concerted push back against China’s aim of internationalising its view of how a society should function.

Notably, while the majority of stock market indices broke out to new recovery or all-time highs, China’s CSI 300 Index pulled back from the upper side its range.  

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