With amazon logo Behind him and stars from the burgeoning Shanghai venture capital scene in front of him, the CEO onstage threw his show. His company, Renwei Electronics, helps authorities in China track down prisoners and detainees – alert guards to their movements and even equip them with heart rate monitors.
Renoy deploys a “smart prison” system in China’s Xinjiang region, where there are more than a million Muslim minorities Were locked up.
However, this did not conflict with the warm welcome of Renoy at an event hosted by an Amazon-backed company.Joint Innovation Center“In November. Event organizers gave Renwei CEO a platform to present a” investor roadshow “- a letter modeled on some of China’s most well-known investors. Renwei got it.Product Innovation AwardRecognized as one of six “Notable Entrepreneurial Companies”.
It posted a detailed list of questions, and Amazon declined to comment on the record. Renoy did not respond to a request for comment.
A growing list of multinationals is under pressure to move their supply chains away from Xinjiang, amid mounting evidence of Mass detention And the forced labor There, as part of what the United States and other countries recently called genocide. Congress is considering a bill to ban imports from forced labor-contaminated Xinjiang, and US customs have already banned products made from tomatoes and cotton in the region, among other commodities.
Amazon close E-commerce business in China in 2019, but other parts of its sprawling empire still do business with Chinese clients, including the hugely profitable cloud computing subsidiary Amazon Web Services.
AWS operates the Joint Innovation Center with Shanghai local government and businesses. The center strengthens startups by providing them with AWS cloud resources and technical support, and by helping them acquire talent and comply with government regulations, according to Announcement of the event. It is not clear what benefits, if any, the Renwei and other award winning companies have received. The center’s website confirms that the companies it supports also benefit from Amazon’s resources and reputation.
Horizon Advisory, a Washington, DC-based geopolitical consulting firm, noticed the Renwei Award and Amazon event in research that they shared with BuzzFeed News.
Renwei technology It was used In prisons across China, including Zhongjiazhuang Prison, located near the city of Shihese. the prison Managed by Xinjiang Strong Production and Building Corps, a paramilitary and governmental organization that the United States imposed sanctions on last year, citing its links to human rights violations in the region.
BuzzFeed News has located the prison in Shawan County, Xinjiang, using satellite imagery. Official photo From the prison deployed in 2016, a round front gate made of elaborate iron and a lion statue appear to the left of the entrance. Behind the gate, a road leads to a two- to three-storey building. A white wall and a row of trees extend along the path. The Google Earth image shows the gate’s shadow cast on the ground, a light-colored body about 2.5 meters high that appears to match the lion statue, and the same east and west wall and tree line. The ceiling of the building in the background also matches the image.
The Chinese government has forced over a million Muslim minorities, including Uyghurs, Kazakhs, Hui Muslims and others, into mass internment camps in the past four years. An investigation of BuzzFeed News last year have found The government has ramped up its campaign dramatically since 2017, building hundreds of new compounds bearing the hallmarks of concentration camps and prisons. Dozens of people were previously held there Described Routine abuse, deprivation and humiliation on the inside, from overcrowding and deprivation of food to beatings and even torture. The government says the concentration camp system aims to “transform through education” and eradicate extremism.
Government data analyzed by The New York Times Shows that the The prison population in Xinjiang also swelled during this time – the region accounted for 21% of the country’s total arrests of only 2% of the population in 2017. Muslim minorities make up about half of Xinjiang’s population. Courts controlled by the Chinese Communist Party indict more than 99% of the defendants, according to government data.
Prisons in many parts of the world, including the United States, use data-based systems to monitor and control prisoners. But in Xinjiang, the government’s campaign Specifically targets Ethnic minorities by detaining them because of religious practices, family connections abroad, or any other behavior perceived as suspecting or threatening the state.
Renoy Describe Its system as “an important platform for digital prisons to improve their administrative capabilities through information technology”. Uses image processing, data encryption, cloud computing, and “big data” to create a “positioning system for individuals” that can be monitored remotely, The company says. The data is directed to a central platform that the authorities can use for “administrative decision-making”.
This improves efficiency, Renoy says, and helps prison staff “bring new ideas for preventative prevention, mid-accident control, and post-accident verification”. Renoy says the early warning system sends signals when police are attacked and when detainees enter no-go areas. Prisoners can be equipped with electronic devices that monitor heart rate and other vital signs “to reduce the risks to law enforcement.” The system helps prevent people from escaping or committing suicide, says Renoy.
High-tech surveillance is a hallmark of life in Xinjiang’s camps and prisons. More than twenty people were held there BuzzFeed News said They were monitored in real time by cameras placed in the corners of their cells and even in the bathrooms. Guards can punish them for minor infractions, such as speaking their native language instead of Mandarin Chinese.
Renoy also received recognition from China’s Internal Security Agency, the Ministry of Public Security. The company appeared at a promotional conference for the ministry attended by the deputy department minister and other government officials.
On stage at an Amazon event On November 16, 2020, Renwei CEO thanked the Shanghai-Amazon Joint Innovation Center for its support. In addition to venture capital owners in Shanghai, the audience included executives from multinational giants such as Siemens and Kone Elevators. According to a press release About the event.
The executive spent about 11 minutes flipping during a PowerPoint presentation, reviewing every aspect of the business, indicating that the system could be used not only in prisons, but also in detention centers. In the end, he looked towards the investors and asked their questions. ●