BEIJING: The surveillance technologies of Chinese tech giants, including ByteDance, the parent company of hugely popular dancing- and music-focused app TikTok, and Huawei technologies are helping the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in its efforts to repress Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang region, the Washington Post said in a piece late Friday citing a report.
The in-depth new report come just days after TikTok apologised for blocking the account of an American teenager Feroza Aziz after her video condemning Beijing’s oppressive stance on Muslims went viral.
“We have found that TikTok’s parent company ByteDance—which is not on the US entity list for human rights violations in Xinjiang—collaborates with public security bureaus across China, including in Xinjiang where it plays an active role in disseminating the party-state’s propaganda on Xinjiang,” the report read.
“Many Chinese tech companies ‘are engaged in deeply unethical behavior in Xinjiang, where their work directly supports and enables mass human rights abuses,” experts at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute’s International Cyber Policy Centre were quoted as saying in the article.
“Some of these companies lead the world in cutting-edge technology development, particularly in the AI and surveillance sectors. But this technology development is focused on servicing authoritarian needs, and as these companies go global (an expansion often funded by [Chinese] loans and aid) this technology is going global as well,” Fergus Ryan, Danielle Cave and Vicky Xiuzhong Xu state in the report according to the Washington Post.
Human rights groups and outside experts say more than one million Uighurs and other mostly Muslim minorities have been rounded up in a network of internment camps across the fractious region of Xinjiang.
China, after initially denying the camps existed, describes them as vocational schools aimed at dampening the allure of Islamist extremism and violence through education and job training.