Report: US company to stop sales of genetic tech in Xinjiang

Report: US company to stop sales of genetic tech in Xinjiang
This April 26, 2007, file photo, shows the exterior of Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc., of Waltham, Mass. The Wall Street Journal reports Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. will no longer sell or service genetic sequencers in China's Xinjiang region following criticism that they were used for surveillance that enabled human rights abuses. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia, File)

Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. says it will no longer sell or service genetic sequencers in China's mostly Muslim region of Xinjiang following criticism that they were used for surveillance that enabled human rights abuses, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The company in Waltham, Massachusetts, cited its "values, ethics code and policies," according to the Journal. The company said it recognized the importance of considering how products "are used—or may be used—by our customers."

Thermo Fisher faced criticism from and American lawmakers for supplying the equipment used to identify individuals in Xinjiang. The region is under intense security measures as part of what the government says is an effort to stop extremism and separatist movements.

Thermo Fisher didn't immediately respond to a request for comment left on the company website.

As many as 1 million Uighurs, Kazakhs and other Muslim minorities are detained in political education camps in Xinjiang, according to U.S. officials and UN experts. The government says those camps are vocational training centers designed to rid the region of extremism.

The United States and other governments have criticized the crackdown. In May, a U.S. congressional commission on China wrote a letter asking the Commerce Department to prevent American technology from being misused by Chinese police.


Explore further

Exposed Chinese database shows depth of surveillance state

© 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Citation: Report: US company to stop sales of genetic tech in Xinjiang (2019, February 21) retrieved 19 October 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-02-company-sales-genetic-tech-xinjiang.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
3 shares

Feedback to editors

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more