Xinjiang Guanghui Group
Interiors, electronics, parts
Xinjiang Guanghui Group is a massive corporate conglomerate, headquartered in Ürümchi that owns (wholly or in part) car dealerships, real estate development firms, an e-commerce company, energy companies, a building materials and a machinery company, manganese, coal, and zinc processing companies, logistics firms, a number of investment firms, and a basketball team, as well being a major automotive parts manufacturer. Guanghui Group is a Global Fortune 500 company since 2017. The Chairman of the company is Sun Guangxin, one of the wealthiest men in China, who has become infamous in the United States for buying 140,000 acres of land in Texas and proposing to build a wind farm that led to significant blowback and a state law forbidding companies affiliated with “hostile nations” from engagement with the Texas energy grid.
The company is largely known in the region for its dealerships that sell luxury western car brands to customers of the Uyghur Region and 27 other provinces and cities. In 2021, the company celebrated its 10th year as top auto dealer in China. According to its own reports, Guanghui is BMW’s largest dealer in China and sells Volkswagen cars in the Uyghur Region as well (see Volkswagen section in introduction of this report).
Guanghui is deeply engaged in repressive government programs in the Uyghur Region, including state-sponsored labor transfers. According to state media, Sun Guangxin “personally coordinated and arranged the implementation of the industrial actions of the group and required the [company’s poverty alleviation] group to do a good job” in its efforts described below.
Guanghui Group is committed to “social stability and long-term stability in Xinjiang.” In Guanghui’s self-nomination for the 2018 People’s Corporate Social Responsibility Award in XUAR (which it won), Guanghui Group celebrated its role as a “leading goose” among private enterprises in the Uyghur Region. The company identified itself as an active participant in “family pairing” activities, that matched 500 of its (likely Han) employees with poor Uyghur people in programs that are intended to increase people’s engagement in government programs and ideology and are also used as a method of surveillance. The company was also celebrated for its extensive participation in a variety of state-sponsored labor transfer programs.
In 2017, the company “received and resettled” 100 “surplus rural laborers from ethnic minorities from Hotan and Kashgar, during one of the early government initiatives to transfer 100,000 minoritized citizens out of the southern XUAR and into work. At the time of these first transfers, Guanghui representatives claimed that transferred laborers would make CNY 3,000 a month.
As part of company engagement in state-sponsored surplus labor programs, Guanghui built five “poverty alleviation factories” within villages in southern Xinjiang in 2018. Reportedly, 1,200 villagers were working in Guanghui’s remote factories, being paid only 1,500 yuan a month (according to Guanghui’s own description), below the regional minimum wage. The workers were likely transferred there by the state through the “surplus labor transfers” that are associated with these poverty alleviation factories established in villages. The company anticipated that across the five satellite factories, it would eventually be able to “employ” as many as 20,000 people. These factories, supposedly designed to alleviate the poverty of the workers, were estimated to bring in CNY 1 billion annually for the company.
Three of those five factories manufacture goods for the automotive industry: Hotan Xibao Auto Supplies Co., Ltd. (in Lop), Xinjiang Guangyi Hengyu Auto Products Co., Ltd. (in Hotan), and Xinjiang Guangwei Huichang Auto Products Co., Ltd. (in Hotan). A fourth of the five “poverty alleviation” enterprises, Guangyi Huijia Electronic Technology Co., Ltd., likely makes car dashboard cameras in the same park in Hotan as the others. Xinjiang Guangwei Huichang Auto Products Co makes floor mats, seat cushions, window and body films, and rubber and plastic products for cars.
The company established the Guanghui Poverty Alleviation Industrial Park in Aijike Village in Hotan, to house Xinjiang Guangyi, Xinjiang Guangwei Huichang, and Guangyi Huijia Electronic Technology In 2020, Guanghui announced that it had “driven 386 rural women in the village to find employment” in the company’s poverty alleviation industrial park. Guanghui called on companies in the rest of China to establish factories in Hotan alongside them.
Hotan Xibao Auto Supplies Co. was established within the “Green Poverty Alleviation Industrial Park” which is located within the Beijing Industrial Park in Lop County. Hotan Xibao and other automotive parts manufacturing facilities located at this address are of significant concern for forced labor. The Beijing Industrial Park in Lop in which the factory is located is the site of several detention centers, including the Lop County #4 Education and Training Center, which was made famous when state media published a photo of the men who were interned there. The dissemination of that photo on social media led to international awareness of the severity of the crisis in the Uyghur Region.
Hotan Xibao is located in plant number 2 at 38 Jingluo Road within the park, which is located at the same address as the Lop County Hair Product Industrial Park that was the subject of a Withhold Release Order issued by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, due to evidence that the park was engaged in forced labor that was revealed in Chinese state media. This suggests that in addition to hair products, the industrial park is also manufacturing automotive parts.
It appears that after establishing Hotan Xibao, Guanghui Group arranged for Shaanxi Lechetu Automobile Accessories Co. to register the company. The Lop factory would make car storage baskets, cushions, and other products for Shaanxi Lechetu on order. A Hotan Daily article about Hotan Xibao indicated that the industrial park in which the company was located had “solved the employment of more than 125 local surplus laborers.” Based on the photos in state media, it is possible that some of the workers employed by the factory are internment camp victims from the Lop County Number 4 Education and Training Center internment camp. It is unusual for men to work in sewing in the Uyghur Region, and the images of the men working in the factory suggest that they may be older than the young people typically transferred through the state-sponsored surplus labor transfers.
Hotan Xibao is was founded and owned by Xinjiang Guanghui Group. The company may have been sold to Shaanxi Lechetu. Guanghui arranged to have the company registered in Shaanxi Lechetu's name.