Antoine Griezmann has terminated his contract with Chinese tech giants Huawei for allegedly supporting the oppression of Uighur Muslims by the Chinese government.
The government in China has been oppressing Muslims from the Uighur region of the country. According to reports, there are over one million Muslims mostly from Uighur who are being imprisoned in discriminatory conditions in Xinjiang.
Despite the widespread public outcry against the oppression the Muslims of the region have been suffering in the country, the Chinese government has always insisted that there has been no such activity in the country.
Recently, there was speculation that Huawei has designed a technology that will enable the Chinese government to identify the Uighur Muslims using a facial recognition device tagged “Uighur alert”.
Antoine Griezmann, a 29-year-old French striker who plays for FC Barcelona, said the speculation is believable and had to end his commercial relationship with the Chinese tech giants in protest of the development.
Antoine Griezmann who has appeared on a couple of Huawei’s advertisements mostly promoting the company’s mobile phones and other gadgets, took to his Instagram page to share his termination letter with his 31.5m followers.
In the letter which was written in French, Antoine Griezmann urged Huawei not to deny that the company invented the “Uighur alert” technology, but to issue a statement distancing itself from any form of oppression of any group.
“Following strong suspicions that Huawei has contributed to the development of a Uighur alert thanks to facial recognition software, I am announcing the immediate termination of my partnership with the company,” Griezmann said via a statement posted on Instagram.
“I take this opportunity to invite Huawei to not just deny these accusations but to take concrete actions as quickly as possible to condemn this mass repression, and to use its influence to contribute to the respect of human and women’s rights in society.”
In reaction to Antoine Griezmann’s resignation, Huawei issued a statement on Thursday insisting that the basis for which the FC Barcelona striker terminated his contract with the tech company was not true. The company insisted that it has respect for humans rights and invited Antoine Griezmann to a face-to-face discussion on the misunderstanding.
The company’s statement read: “Huawei is obviously saddened by the decision of Mr. Griezmann to end his relationship with the company.
“We would like to extend an invitation to speak to him personally, to explain the work that is currently being done at the highest level, inside the company, to address the issues of human rights, equality, and discrimination at all levels, and to reassure him, and all our customers and partners, that Huawei takes these concerns very seriously.
“The language used in the document he refers to in the news reports is completely unacceptable. It was not Huawei’s language, rather descriptions of functions provided by the company Megvii.
“It is not compatible with the values of Huawei. Our technologies are not designed to identify ethnic groups. Non-discrimination is at the heart of our values as a company.
“Furthermore, the person responsible for approving the document was not a Huawei employee, but rather was a subcontractor. This mistake was three years ago. He was clearly not aligned with our company’s values. Since then the company has made substantial progress.
“Indeed, Huawei is a signatory to the UNGC which states “businesses should support and respect the protection of internationally proclaimed human rights.
“We are grateful to the media for drawing this matter to our attention.”