Letter to Bob Swan, Chief Executive Officer for Intel - Rubio, McGovern Ask CEOs of Intel and NVIDIA About Possible Involvement in Human Rights Abuses in Xinjiang
Dear Mr. Swan:
We write to raise concerns about your company's sales of advanced computing chips to
the companies and security agencies responsible for carrying out human rights abuses by the
People's Republic of China (PRC) in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR).
A recent report by The New York Times raised concerns that processors sold by the Intel
Corporation help power a supercomputer used by PRC security forces in the XUAR to conduct
mass surveillance of Uyghurs and other Turkic or Muslim minorities. Built by Sugon, a highperformance computing manufacturer with close ties to the PRC military, the Urumqi Cloud
Computing Center (UCCC) is the currently the 135th most powerful supercomputer in the world.
Publicly available information indicates the UCCC is used to conduct "predictive policing,"
preventatively identifying behaviors considered dangerous or disloyal to the Chinese Communist
Party by parsing enormous quantities of video and other surveillance data.
Over the last three years, evidence has mounted that mass surveillance--made possible
by combining computing power and big data with traditional surveillance methods--has enabled
the PRC's mass internment and forced labor policies that affect millions of Uyghurs and other
Turkic or Muslim minorities. Moreover, these technologies--and the expertise necessary to
apply them--have been used to monitor the rest of Chinese society and to shape the behavior of
PRC citizens, and are increasingly sold to other governments around the world by PRC-based
Since October 2019, the U.S. Department of Commerce has added 48 PRC-domiciled
companies and government entities to the Bureau of Industry and Security's Entity List for their
complicity "in human rights violations and abuses committed in China's campaign of repression,
mass arbitrary detention, forced labor and high-technology surveillance against Uyghurs, ethnic
Kazakhs, and other members of Muslim minority groups in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous
Region (XUAR)." According to reporting by The New York Times and others, some of the
entities named by the U.S. Government for their role in these human rights abuses, including
Sugon, are clients of your company.
In light of these reports, we have the following questions about your business in the
People's Republic of China:
Were you aware that your company was selling its product(s) or service(s) to entities in
the PRC, that the U.S. Government has determined are either a national security risk or
are complicit in serious human rights violations, and placed on the Department of
Commerce's Entity List?
How many export licenses involving these PRC entities, or their subsidiaries and
subordinates on the Commerce Department's Entity list, has your company applied for?
For which products? How many have been approved?
How much revenue has your company and its subsidiaries earned over the last 12
months, or the most recent fiscal year, from sales to PRC entities on the Entity List,
including to any of their subsidiaries, parent firms, or subordinate government agencies?
What, if any, due diligence did your company perform prior to selling your products to
the PRC entities in question to ensure that your products were not used in human rights
abuses, and, in particular, the mass surveillance systems used to suppress Uyghurs and
other PRC citizens?
To what extent was your company aware that your products would be used to support the
operations and activities of the Ministry of Public Security, the Ministry of State
Security, and the People's Armed Police?
Thank you in advance for your consideration of these questions. We look forward to
your timely responses.