The persecution of Uighar Muslims in China gained worldwide attention in the recent past. Campaigners fighting against the persecution of Uighar Muslims in China will target private companies sponsoring the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics. It is an attempt to persuade them to use their influence on the Chinese government ahead of the winter sports event.
The aim of the campaign is to urge the huge multinationals that they will pay a commercial price if they do not use their immense soft power to persuade the Chinese government to rethink it’s stance. Uighar campaigners from 10 different countries are coming together to write to companies asking them to use their platforms to educate and inform the world of the persecution under way in Xinjiang province.
The first to be targeted is the CEO of Airbnb, Brian Chesky. Airbnb is receiving the campaigners’ attention early partly because of the firm’s emphasis on corporate social responsibility. Chesky has also shown a huge personal philanthropic commitment, signing Bill Gates’s pledges to give the majority of his wealth away to charitable causes either during his lifetime or afterwards.
“There is now a real risk that Airbnb’s brand will be stained by your association with the Genocide Games”
The Uighar campaigners would ideally like for Airbnb to withdraw it’s sponsorship from the “Genocide Games” of 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics. But they might graduate their demands.
The San Francisco-based Airbnb secured a £500m sponsorship of the Olympics starting with the Beijing Games.The digital campaign will hold concurrent images of the typical accommodation available to Airbnb customers and that available to the persecuted Uighar Muslims in detention camps.
In it’s letter, the group broadly entitled the End of Uighar Genocide Movement asks Airbnb CEO Chesky and his executive team to meet the campaigners virtually. This includes some of the people that have been forced to work in Chinese concentration camps and others whose loved ones have disappeared.
The group acknowledges that Chesky’s corporate aim is to bring the world closer together. They added that he has built his company around the theme of “belonging“. The authors of the letter says, “We are exiles from our country, unable to go home, unable to contact our loved ones,“
“All over the world, campaigners, politicians and celebrities are waking up to the horror of what is going on. There is now a real risk that that Airbnb’s brand will be stained by your association with the Genocide Games,” The Guardian quoted them as saying.
Rahima Mahmut, director of the World Uighur Congress, said Airbnb could either pull out of the games or use their involvement to speak out against the attacks on Uighars and other Muslims “clearly and unambiguously“. She added that staying silent on thsi issue was not possible for Airbnb.
The campaign is being launched in America, the UK, Canada, Norway, Finland, France, the Netherlands, Japan and Australia. Other major multinational sponsoring companies for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics include Allianz, Coca-Cola, Samsung, Intel, Visa International, Omega, Atos and Panasonic.