Tesla urged to close new Xinjiang showroom, end ‘economic support for genocide’
- Activists appeal to electric vehicle maker after it opened the dealership in Urumqi on Friday
- Beijing has been accused of abuses against mostly Muslim ethnic minorities in the region
The Council on American-Islamic Relations on Monday called on Tesla and its chairman, Elon Musk, to close the showroom and “cease what amounts to economic support for genocide”.
“No American corporation should be doing business in a region that is the focal point of a campaign of genocide targeting a religious and ethnic minority,” said the group’s communications director, Ibrahim Hooper, in a statement.
The Communist Party has pressured foreign hotel, airline and other companies to adopt its positions on the status of Taiwan, the island democracy claimed by Beijing as part of its territory, and other issues in advertising and on their websites.
Activists and foreign governments say some 1 million Uygurs and members of other mostly Muslim minorities have been confined in detention camps in Xinjiang. Chinese officials reject accusations of abuses and say the camps are for job training and to combat extremism.
China is one of Tesla’s biggest markets. The company’s first factory outside the United States opened in Shanghai in 2019.
Other foreign auto brands including Volkswagen, General Motors and Nissan Motor Co have showrooms in Xinjiang operated by the carmakers’ Chinese joint-venture partners. VW also operates a factory in Urumqi.