On Thursday, 10 December, France and Barcelona forward, Antoine Griezmann, ended his business affiliation and endorsements of mobile phone giants, Huawei, saying that there are“strong
suspicions” that the Chinese owned company has contributed to the repression of the Uighur
minority, mostly Muslim.
It comes after a report in the Washington Post earlier this week alleged that when surveillance cameras identified members of the predominantly Muslim minority Uighur community, Huawei had tested software capable of sending automatic alerts.
The facial recognition software is reportedly intended to detect Uighurs and report them directly to the Chinese government.
“I am announcing the immediate termination of my partnership with the company following strong suspicions that the Huawei company has contributed to the development of a ‘Uighur alert’ thanks to facial recognition software,” Griezmann said in an Instagram post on Thursday, October 10.
“I am taking this opportunity to invite Huawei not only to reject these accusations but to take
concrete action as quickly as possible to condemn this mass repression and to use its influence to contribute to the respect of the rights of humans and women in society.”
In response to Griezmann’s statement, a Huawei spokesperson said: “We would like to extend an invitation to speak to him personally, to explain the work that is currently being done at the highest level within the company, too address the issues of human rights, equality, and discrimination at all
The spokesperson added: “It is not compatible with Huawei’s values, addressing claims that
Huawei tested a facial recognition system to detect Uighurs and send alerts to authorities.”
Our technologies are not intended for the identification of ethnic groups. As a company, non-discrimination is at the center of our values.