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SHANGHAI: The China branch of the cotton trade body Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) said on Friday it had not found signs of forced labour related to cotton production in Xinjiang.

The comments come as a number of overseas retailers face a public backlash from Chinese consumers who circulated statements from the brands on social media announcing they will cease sourcing from Xinjiang. BCI counts many of the brands in question, including H&M, Nike, and Adidas, as members. “The BCI Shanghai representative office once again solemnly reiterates that the China project team strictly abides by BCI’s audit principles,” the trade body said in a statement.

“Since 2012, the Xinjiang project site has performed second-party credibility audits and third-party verifications over the years, and has never found a single case related to incidents of forced labor.”

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