Battery makers CATL & Gotion deny Chinese slave labour links

June 12, 2024

Chinese battery manufacturers CATL and Gotion have denied having links to slave labour following allegations made by members of the US Congress.

A letter sent to the US Department of Homeland Security last week – which was signed by group of US Congress members including House Committee on Homeland Security Chairman Mark E. Green, MD (R-TN) joined House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party Chairman John Moolenaar (R-MI) – implicated CATL and Gotion in Chinese Communist Party state-sponsored slave labour and human rights abuses in the Xinjiang Uyghur autonomous region in China.

In making the allegations, the US Congress members highlighted that products made with Uyghur forced labour are “strictly prohibited from entering the United States”. The Department of Homeland Security maintains a Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA) Entity List to enforce the prohibition. Companies that have engaged in forced labour are placed on the list and blacklisted from the United States.

But CATL and Gotion have denied the allegations. In a statement, CATL said: “A June 5 letter by US Members of Congress, accusing CATL of having connections to forced labour, is groundless and completely false. It cites information about suppliers in an inaccurate and misleading way. With some suppliers quoted in the letter, business relations ceased long ago. With other suppliers, business relations have been conducted with different subsidiaries and with absolutely no connection to forced labour or anything that violates US applicable laws and regulations. With still others, we have never procured any products from them and the cited information is simply wrong and misguided. CATL is in strict compliance with all applicable laws and regulations with respect to its operations and business activities in the US.”

Meanwhile, it was reported that Gotion had told Chinese media company Yicai that the claims were “completely unfounded and absolutely wrong, adding that it has always respected human rights and protected the rights of employees”.