It remains unclear whether the government in Xinjiang ultimately supplied more workers to O-Film. Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment. O-Film could not immediately be reached for comment.
Another company on the list, Hefei Bitland Information Technology Co, has said on its website that its cooperative partners include Google, HP, Haier, iFlytek and Lenovo. Another listed company, Changji Esquel Textile Co. Ltd, also appears to have ties to major international brands, working with Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, Hugo Boss and Muji, according to the Chinese company’s website.
PVH, which owns the Tommy Hilfiger brand, Ralph Lauren, Hugo Boss and a representative for Muji in the United States, where the brand is restructuring, did not immediately return requests for comment on Monday.
The Wall Street Journal reported in May 2019 that Esquel had set up three spinning mills in Xinjiang, and that the company had taken in at least 34 Uighur workers offered by Chinese officials. In a statement this April, Esquel denied that it had ever used forced labor and called the statements “completely false and deeply upsetting.”
In a letter to Mr. Ross on Monday, Esquel again said it did not and would never use forced labor, and asked to be removed from the list.
“Where is the evidence that Esquel has ever, in its 25 years of operations in Xinjiang, used forced labor?” wrote John Cheh, the chief executive of Esquel Group. “No agency of any government nor any nongovernmental organization has presented such evidence, because it does not exist. In the lead up to including our Changji mill on the entity list, no one from the Commerce Department spoke with anyone at Esquel or we would have gladly provided them with the facts and answered any questions at that time.”
The companies on the entity list also include KTK Group, which supplies components for high-speed trains, and Hetian Haolin Hair Accessories Co. Ltd. On July 1, U.S. Customs and Border Protection seized a shipment of 13 tons of hair products manufactured by Lop County Meixin Hair Product Co. Ltd. that it suspected were made with human hair originating in Xinjiang.