U.S. Senators Target Airbnb’s Xinjiang Listings

Two U.S. senators have targeted home rental firm Airbnb over its listings in China’s Xinjiang Region. Senators Jeff Merkley and James McGovern sent the company a letter, asking about some of its listings in the region. The U.S. Government says China commits genocide against Uyghur Muslim minority in Xinjiang, despite China’s rejection.

The two legislators cited a website that reported more than a dozen Airbnb listings in Xinjiang are on land owned by Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps (XPCC), which was blacklisted by the U.S. Treasury Department in 2020. The Department has frozen the company’s assets in the United States and prohibited American citizens and businesses from making deals with it and its officials.

The senators’ letter underlined that the U.S. State Department designated XPCC as a “quasi-military organization” which is involved with forced labor and possible other human rights abuses in Xinjiang.

Democrat senators Merkley and McGovern also said they question Airbnb’s commitment to human rights and anti-discrimination in China given its sponsorship to the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.

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