U.S. chip maker Intel apologised on Thursday to Chinese customers, partners and the public after a letter telling its suppliers not to source products or labour from the western region of Xinjiang caused a backlash.
That letter, on the company’s website and in several languages, sparked criticism in China with calls for a boycott.
In its Chinese-language statement on Thursday on its official WeChat and Weibo accounts. Intel said that its commitment to avoid supply chains from Xinjiang was an expression of compliance with U.S. law, rather than a statement of its position on the issue.
“We apologise for the trouble caused to our respected Chinese customers, partners and the public. Intel is committed to becoming a trusted technology partner and accelerating joint development with China,” Intel said.
Many Weibo users derided Intel’s apology as an attempt at protecting sales in China. with a user saying “a mistake is a mistake! Retract the statement about Xinjiang!”
The hashtag “Is Intel’s apology sincere?” was trending on Weibo on Thursday afternoon.
Intel, with 10,000 employees in China, said in its apology that it “respected the sensitivity of the issue in China.”
The company’s China presence includes assembly and test sites in Shanghai and Chengdu.