US apparel company cuts ties with Chinese factory

Badger Sportswear
U.S. apparel company Badger Sportswear cut ties with a Chinese factory Wednesday, saying it suspects the plant of using Muslim detainees from Chinese internment camps for production.

The company said it began investigating the factory, Hetian Taida Apparel Co., last month for the suspected use of forced labor in clothing production.

"Out of an abundance of caution and to eliminate any concerns about our supply chain given the controversy around doing business in Northwestern China, we will no longer source any product from Hetian Taida or this region of China," Badger wrote on its website. "Furthermore, we will not ship any product sourced from Hetian Taida currently in our possession."

The Chinese government launched a "reeducation" campaign aimed at Muslim Uighur and Kazakh ethnic minorities two years ago. Chinese authorities have detained thousands in internment camps, where many are forced to perform menial labor.

Hetian Taida's factory is located at one of those camps, and according to the Associated Press they employed 20-30 "trainees" from the center.

China is facing intensifying international pressure over the camps, which have been widely called a human rights abuse.

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