Skip to main content

China: Uyghurs

Question for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office

UIN 85202, tabled on 1 December 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment her Department has made of the accuracy of reports that subsidiaries of BGI Group companies conducted genetic analyses of China’s minority Uighurs; and if she will take steps to backlist those companies.

Answered on

9 December 2021

We are aware of reports that subsidiaries of Chinese headquartered genome sequencing company BGI Group cooperated with the Chinese government on the collection of genetic information in Xinjiang.

On 12 January 2021, the UK Government announced a series of robust measures in respect of UK supply chains to help ensure that no British organisations - government or private sector, deliberately or inadvertently - are profiting from or contributing to human rights violations against the Uyghurs or other minorities in Xinjiang. These measures include a review of export controls as they apply to Xinjiang, the introduction of financial penalties for organisations that fail to comply with their obligations under the Modern Slavery Act, and new, robust guidance to UK businesses on the specific risks faced by companies with links to the region.