Elon Musk, the owner of the company Tesla, thanked the Chinese Communist Party for allowing the reopening of its “Shanghai Gigafactory,” under the “closed-loop system,” i.e., employees must live in the factory and even sleep on the floor to achieve the daily production of 2100 electric cars, during the outbreak of coronavirus cases in Shanghai.
Tesla, which has been closed since March 28 due to the increase of coronavirus cases in Shanghai, has stopped producing around 39,900 units to date, Bloomberg reported.
However, starting operations amid the major covid-19 infection by closed-circuit means that its employees will have to live on the premises, even without having basic facilities, such as a bed, People will have to sleep on the floor, and there will be allocated spaces for showers, entertainment, food, etc., according to a memo.
Musk has been heavily criticized since the opening of his Tesla factory in Shanghai due to serious allegations of forced labor camps and genocide against the Uighur minority group. Yet, the billionaire did not back down from his decision.
Following the enactment of a law requiring companies to prove that goods imported from Xinjiang were not produced with forced labor, the BBC. reported Republican Senator Marco Rubio said, “I’ll be blunt: any company doing business in Xinjiang is complicit in the cultural genocide taking place there. But Tesla’s actions are especially despicable.”
In December 2020, the BBC published an investigation showing that China was forcing hundreds of thousands of minorities, including Uighurs, into manual labor in the cotton fields of Xinjiang, where Nike and H&M have their factories. So far, Beijing continues to deny the claims.
Another group intensely persecuted by the Chinese regime are practitioners of Falun Dafa (also called Falun Gong), a spiritual discipline of the Buddha School. Illegally detained and taken to forced labor camps, practitioners are forced to work up to 20 hours a day and tortured or starved to death if long workdays cannot be met, Falun Info reported.
Despite the appalling allegations of human rights violations in China, Musk praised China on the 100th anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party, tweeting, “The economic prosperity China achieved is truly amazing,” according to the New York Post.
On the other hand, under the closed-loop system, Tesla will operate with 8,000 workers, who will live in the factory from Monday, April 18, The Global Times reported.
So far, more than 600 companies have restarted operations, including Quanta Computer Inc, which makes laptops for Apple Inc, according to Bloomberg.
Tesla, which manufactures the Model 3 and Model, faces heavy losses, as did Volkswagen AG and Robert Bosch GmbH, which have experience in reopening under the “closed-loop,” failed to gain advantages in car production due to shortages of parts and supplies due to the closures caused by Covid-19.