Home World News Xinjiang monitoring company won an award at the Amazon event

Xinjiang monitoring company won an award at the Amazon event

Has the Amazon logo behind him and celebrities from the booming venture capital scene in Shanghai in front of him, the executive onstage delivered his offers. His company, Renwei Electronics, helps authorities in China monitor prisoners and detainees – alert guards of their movements and even install them with heart rate monitors.

Renwei deploys a “smart prison” system in China’s Xinjiang region, home to more than 1 million Muslim ethnic minorities. has been locked up.

However, this did not hinder Renwei’s warm welcome at an Amazon-backed event “a joint innovation centerIn November. The event organizers gave Renwei’s chief executive a platform to give a “investor sugar show”-style speech to some of the most prestigious investors. of China. And Renwei received “Product innovation award“Recognized it as one of six” outstanding business companies. “

Having submitted a detailed list of questions, Amazon declined to comment on the profile. Renwei did not respond to a request for comment.

An increasing list of multinational corporations are under pressure to move their supply chains away from Xinjiang, amid growing evidence of mass detention and forced labor there, as part of what the US and other countries have recently called genocide. Congress is considering a bill banning imports from Xinjiang contaminated by forced labor, and US customs has banned tomato and cotton products in the region, among other goods.

Amazon Turn off Their e-commerce business operations in China in 2019, but other parts of their vast empire still work with Chinese customers, including the profitable cloud subsidiary. profit margin, Amazon Web Services.

AWS operates the joint innovation center with Shanghai local government and business organizations. The Center drives startups by providing them with AWS cloud resources and technology support, and by helping them acquire talent and comply with government regulations, an advertisement for the event. It is not clear what, if any, benefits Renwei and the other award winning companies have received. The center’s website emphasizes that the companies it supports also benefit from Amazon’s resources and reputation.

Horizon Advisory, a geopolitical consulting firm based in Washington, DC, first recognized Renwei’s award and the Amazon event in research it shared with BuzzFeed News.

Renwei’s technology has been used in prisons across China, including at Zhongjiazhuang Prison, located near Shihezi City. Jail is managed by The mighty Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps, a paramilitary and governmental organization to which the United States imposed sanctions last year, citing ties to human rights violations in the region. field.

BuzzFeed News has located the prison in Xinjiang’s Shawan district using satellite imagery. An official photo of the prison posted in 2016 shows a circular front gate made of exquisitely iron and a lion statue to the left of the entrance. Behind the gate, a road led up to a two- to three-story building. A white wall and a row of trees ran along the road. The Google Earth image shows the gate’s shadow falling on the ground, a bright colored object about 2.5 meters high that looks like a lion statue, and a wall and rows of trees in the East-West direction. The roof of the building in the background also matches the photo.

The Chinese government has forced more than a million Muslim minorities, including Uighurs, Kazakhs, Muslims, and others into mass concentration camps over the past four years. A BuzzFeed News survey last year Find The government has aggressively escalated its campaign since 2017, building hundreds of new complexes bearing the mark of detention camps and prisons. Dozens of people were previously detained there describe abuse, deprivation and humiliation are frequent inside, from overcrowding and shortages of food to beatings and even torture. The government says the intern camp system is to “transform through education” and denuclearize extremists.

Government data analyzed by the New York Times pointed out that Xinjiang’s prison population also increased during this period – the region accounted for 21% of all arrests of just 2% of the country’s population in 2017. Islamic minorities make up about half of the population. Xinjiang number. According to government data, the Communist Party-controlled courts sentenced more than 99% of the defendants.

Prisons in many parts of the world, including the United States, use data-driven systems to track and control prisoners. But in Xinjiang, the government campaign Detail goal by detaining them by detention for religious activities, overseas family connections, or other acts that are considered suspicious or threatening to the state.

Renwei describe Its system as “an important platform for digital prisons to improve their management abilities through information technology.” It uses image processing, data encryption, cloud computing and “big data” to set up “HR locator systems” that can be remotely monitored, the company said. The data is fed into a centralized platform that authorities can use to “manage decisions”.

Renwei says this improves efficiency and helps prison staff “gain new ideas of pre-emptive prevention, control between breakdown and post-incident verification.” An early warning system, Renwei said, signaled when police were being attacked and when captives entered areas where they were forbidden. Inmates may be fitted with electronic heart rate monitoring devices and other vital cues to “minimize the risk to law enforcement.” Renwei says that the system helps prevent people from escaping or committing suicide.

High-tech surveillance is a hallmark of life in Xinjiang camps and prisons. More than two dozen people were previously detained there already Tell BuzzFeed News that they were monitored in real time by cameras placed in the corners of their cell and even in the bathroom. Guards may punish them for minor offenses, such as speaking their native language instead of Mandarin.

Renwei has also received recognition from China’s domestic security agency, the Ministry of Public Security. The company appeared at a departmental promotional conference attended by deputy ministers and other government officials.

Onstage at the Amazon event On November 16, 2020, CEO Renwei thanked the support from the Shanghai-Amazon Joint Innovation Center. In addition to the venture capitalists in Shanghai, the audience includes executives from multinational giants such as Siemens and Kone Elevator, according to a press release about the event.

The CEO spent about 11 minutes going through a PowerPoint presentation showcasing every aspect of the business, noting that the system could not only be used in prisons but also in prison centers. Hold. Finally, he looked toward investors and questioned them. ●



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