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Tesla is Facing Backlash as They Report Record Delivery Sales

tesla Xinjiang showroom
tesla Xinjiang showroom

As 2021 came to a close, Tesla reported that they made another record of quarterly deliveries. With more than 308,000 cars sold in three months, Tesla has experienced a seven quarterly gain in shipments. This brings the company to a total of 936,000 vehicles deliveries in 2021. Yahoo Finance writes that the growth in deliveries is likely to increase this year now that factories in Texas and Berlin are starting production.

Though a new chapter of Tesla’s success is beginning, we need to look on the other side of the coin.

On New Year’s Eve, Tesla opened a showroom in Xinjiang. A ceremony was held with people holding ‘Tesla Loves Xinjiang’ signs on their Weibo page. Xinjiang is the same place where the Chinese Government has been accused of genocide and other hate crimes against the Uyghur Muslims.

The Wall Street Journal has gone over Chinese reports that show they have affected over 1 million minorities not limited to the Uyghur people. These crimes include torture, forced labor, population control, and surveillance. Despite this, the Chinese government has refuted these claims.

According to The Verge, President Joe Biden signed the Uyghur Forced Protection Act which told China to cease the genocide and the abuse of the Uyghur Muslims and other minority groups in the region. US senator Marco Rubio commented on the news of Tesla’s new Xinjiang dealership on twitter where he claimed that Tesla is helping China cover up the genocide and hate crimes against the Uyghur Muslims.

Tesla is not the only company that has been faced backlash on conducting business in Xinjiang. Intel was criticized for writing a letter to suppliers telling them to not use labor or resources from Xinjiang. Later, Intel apologized for writing the letter. The BBC noted that H&M and Nike took heat for sourcing cotton from the forced labor of the Uyghur people.

There is no question that the new factories in Europe and China have helped aid Tesla in deliveries. Expansion of factory locations is key to Tesla’s success, but why would you choose to open a dealership in a place where accusations of slave labor is just the tip of the iceberg? The lack of transparency of the treatment of minorities in the Xinjiang region could cause doubt on the treatment of Tesla workers. Could the production and profits from Tesla’s vehicles potentially be the result of the blood and suffering of minorities in China? It is in Tesla’s best interest to at the very least comment on the issue. Though, with how censorship and lies seem to be hand in hand with business in Xinjiang and the Chinese government, it is not likely to occur.

Written By

Kirsten Markley is an Elon Musk enthusiast. She is studying graphic design and plans on being a UI designer on Mars.