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Made In China: Slave Nets, Propaganda and More

Updated: Dec 24, 2021

Original photos by Ranjith Alingal, Kirill Sharkovski, Matthew Dagelet, and Fred Moon on UnSplash.

After another 12-hour work day, with no time-off in sight, your only option to escape the harsh working conditions of the modern-day slave trade in China is to take your own life. You’ve made a plan. You’ve gathered the resolve to see it through. The opportunity has presented itself. You leap out on faith. But, all doesn’t go according to plan because your managers have already anticipated your demise and are one step ahead to deny you and your colleagues the satisfaction of a quick death. Workers have been throwing themselves off their dorm buildings at a rate of 18 attempts per year at the Apple Longhua factory and succeeding 14 times per year. Those who fail were either talked down or caught mid-air by the slave nets which are merely recycled tarps set up at the Foxconn factory. Recycled tarps were not chosen on the basis of sustainability but because actual nets are too expensive. When asked about the suicides, Foxconn CEO, Terry Gou, reports that the numbers are no higher than the national average. The company hired counselors, installed tarps, and asked the workers to sign pledges stating they wouldn’t kill themselves.


In the reeducation camps in Xinjiang province, workers are sent to the factories in what the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) refers to as “vocational training” camps. Unlike their counterparts in other factories, workers sent there are denied the following: a fair wage, freedom of movement, and any form of religious observance or worship. Additionally, these workers are required to attend “mandatory indoctrination” which includes the forcible viewing of hours of CCP propaganda, enduring physical and sexual abuse, and a long list of other dehumanizing tactics. It’s estimated that between 80,000 and 1,000,000 persons were relocated to work in factories which supply the products for these top brands: Apple, BMW, Gap, Huawei, Samsung, Sony, and Nike. Many of the products produced were sent directly from the concentration camps to Western store shelves. According to the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre, eighty-three major brands have been identified and implicated for using slave labor, several companies such as Apple, Esprit, and Fila, have offered no response. While some companies, such as Gap and Samsung, have acknowledged their use of slave labor in the supply chain and are working on revaluating their practices where others have fallen short.

We are deeply committed to maintaining responsible and ethical practices across our business and seek to uphold and advocate for the fundamental values and human rights of individuals and ethnic groups of all origins.” – The Gap,


Further adding to the silence public figures and professional athleteslike social justice advocate, LeBron James, have earnedmillions of Yuan shilling for Nike (one of the many companies that have used slavery in China) and the CCP. While decrying the evils of slavery in America’s past, LeBron is oddly silent on modern-day slavery for his CCP masters in China. As long as silver crosses their palm, “King James” and other woke entities will continue to pretend to care for social justice, as long as it doesn’t affect the bottom line.


The first world is willfully apathetic and dismissive of the conditions endured by Chinese workers. The public at large will care little about the conditions workers suffer because their attention would be focused on the endless stream of articles talking about the new iPhone. Currently, we have “Fair Trade” goods for bananas, chocolate, coffee, and other products, why not for electronics? As a country that finds the idea of slavery distasteful, we should stop supporting organizations that use slave labor and support companies that treat their employees with basic human dignity.

About the author

A Texan at heart, Dr. C. Katze is a recipient of several Copy Boy awards and has written for The Grey Point of View since 2021. After experiencing life-changing travel with the US military, Dr. Katze now enjoys a sip of wine on his balcony overlooking the Bavarian sunset. Alternatively, when he is not serving as a Combat Medic for the U.S. military, Dr. Katze can be found on an Italian beach - pouring Limoncello over his ice cream - with his life-partner and their black cat. is an independent blog on ethics, politics, Euro-life and more. Written by expats, global citizens and other interesting sapiens. If you are interested in writing with us, send us your post for review. We look forward to hearing from you.

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