Tesla has been chastised in the United States for building a showroom in China’s disputed Xinjiang province.
On New Year’s Eve, the business, led by billionaire Elon Musk, unveiled a showroom in the Chinese city of Urumqi.
Some in China, though, have applauded the action.
Slavery and genocide have been alleged against the Uyghur minority community in China’s resource-rich western region.
Senator Marco Rubio, a Republican, came out against Tesla’s move, having backed a measure signed into law by President Joe Biden in December that compels companies to verify that items imported from Xinjiang were not made with forced labor.
“Nationless businesses are assisting the Chinese Communist Party in covering up genocide and slave labor in the region,” Mr. Rubio tweeted.
The head of the Alliance of American Manufacturing, Scott Paul, stated: “I’ll be blunt: any firm doing business in Xinjiang is implicated in the ongoing cultural genocide. But Tesla’s acts are particularly heinous.”
After a reaction over a letter it sent asking vendors not to purchase products or labor from Xinjiang, Intel issued an apology late last year.
In China, the company’s letter triggered outrage and demands for a boycott.
Intel isn’t the first firm to face criticism for attempting to comply with Xinjiang sanctions while continuing to operate in China.
Last year, when Nike and H&M expressed concern about the alleged use of Uyghur forced labor in cotton manufacturing, they received pushback.
Many of China’s Muslim Uyghurs live in the Xinjiang province, where there have been charges of forced labor and potentially genocide.
The BBC released a report based on fresh evidence in December 2020, revealing that China was putting hundreds of thousands of minorities, particularly Uyghurs, into physical labor in the cotton fields of Xinjiang.
The assertions have been frequently refuted by Beijing.