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US firm stops selling DNA collection equipment to China

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The DNA collection was part of a greater surveillance system

Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images

Massachusetts-based bio金莎平台直营tech firm Thermo Fisher says it will stop selling equipment to Xinjiang,the province where Chinese authorities have launched a statewide campaign to monitor and track Uighurs.它告诉The New York Times the new decision was "consistent with Thermo Fisher's values,道德规范,和政策。”

2016-2017年,China ordered almost 36 million people to get medical checkups,according to numbers reported by state-runXinhua News.血样,fingerprints,photos of irises,and other identifying data were collected,as Human Rights Watch reported in 2017.Thermo Fisher supplied some of the lab equipment used to collect DNA,patent filings obtained by theNYTrevealed.公司2017年度报告stated that China brought in about 10 percent of the company's $20.9 billion revenue,describing the country as "our greatest success story in emerging markets."

By collecting Uighurs' DNA,authorities in China were building a comprehensive database to better identify any individual who defied the system.They also benefitted from shared data from a visiting Yale professor,whose research was cited in Chinese state patents.Xinjiang's local government denied to theNYT它收集了DNA样本.

Uighurs in Xinjiang havereportedly been imprisoned in camps,according to multiple accounts from human rights groups and media reports.Most predominantly practice Islam and are often discriminated against for being a minority population amid China's majority Han Chinese.The Chinese government has held Uighurs responsible for terrorist attacks within the past ten years.

US 金莎平台直营tech companies sometimes become complicitin helping China build its surveillance system.Just take Cisco's role in selling routers to China while the country was building up its internet censorship system in the early 2000s,or Microsoft censoring search results on its Bing search engine within China so it cancontinue its operations.

Some 金莎平台直营tech companies have pulled out of China,like Google did in 2010,以人权问题为例。But often enough,they continue to be indirectly involved and complicit,被扩大到一个可能提高盈利能力的大型互联网用户群体的诱惑所吸引。Facebook has repeatedly tried to enter China againafter being banned in 2009 when Xinjiang activists reportedly used the platform to organize protests,谷歌去年考虑的审查过的搜索引擎许多争议的根源.

It's an ethical dilemma for many companies and some choose to compromise as a result.In a blog post,Human Rights Watch called Thermo Fisher's decision to stop selling to Xinjiang a "necessary,but insufficient" move."Thermo Fisher's decision leaves many key questions unanswered: What about sales of that 金莎平台直营technology to Chinese police in other parts of the country?警方从与犯罪无关的人身上滥用收集DNA材料的行为并不局限于新疆。HRW's China director wrotetoday.

Collecting personally identifying data is already somewhat commonplace outside of Xinjiang,although mandatory checkups have not been reported.China already requiresall foreigners landing in airports to submit their fingerprintsand has alsoinstalled over 20 million cameras across the countryto spot jaywalkers and other petty crimes on the streets.We've reached out to Thermo Fisher to ask whether the company plans to end sales to other parts of China as well.