Intel (INTC) - Get Intel Corporation Report was being blasted on social media Monday for removing references to the Chinese region of Xinjiang from an open letter it sent to suppliers last month after the contents of the note sparked an uproar in China.
Intel last month published a letter to its global suppliers on its website calling on its business partners to avoid sourcing from the northwestern Chinese region, according to The Wall Street Journal.
"Multiple governments have imposed restrictions on products sourced from the Xinjiang region," the letter said. "Therefore, Intel is required to ensure our supply chain does not use any labor or source goods or services from the Xinjiang region."
Reuters has reported that United Nations experts and human-rights groups estimate that more than a million people are detained in camps in Xinjiang.
The detainees include Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities, the news service reported.
Intel was denounced by Chinese social-media users and state-run media for cutting business dealings with the region, while one of its China brand ambassadors pulled out in protest.
The company apologized on Dec. 23 on its Chinese social-media accounts, adding that the letter was written to comply with U.S. law and didn’t represent its position on Xinjiang. The reference to the region has been removed from the letter.
Several posters on Twitter reacted angrily to Intel's actions.
"Bow further, good dog," one poster tweeted.
"Not ok INTEL," another said. "Why do YOU support slaves and genocide in China?"
Another tweeted "some really thin skinned folks over there in China."
"Good Lord: Another American company kowtows to the Chinese Communist Party," conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt tweeted.
The Santa Clara, Calif.-based company said in a statement to The Wall Street Journal that "we recently issued a statement in China to address concerns raised by our stakeholders there regarding how we communicated certain legal requirements and policies with our global supplier network."
"We will continue to ensure that our global sourcing complies with applicable laws and regulations in the U.S. and in other jurisdictions where we operate," Intel said.
Intel shares were up 1% to $53.98 at last check.
China has become a PR nightmare for some U.S companies ahead of the winter Olympics.
US Senator Marco Rubio ripped into Tesla, tweeting that "nationless corporations are helping the Chinese Communist Party cover up genocide and slave labor in the region."
Rubio sponsored a bill signed into law by President Joe Biden in December that requires firms to prove that goods imported from Xinjiang were not produced with forced labor.
In May, actor John Cena apologized on Chinese social media after he referred to Taiwan as a country while promoting the film Fast & Furious 9.
Beijing has claimed the self-governing island as part of its territory and has threatened to annex it.