Barcelona star Griezmann breaks Chinese company deal due to “strong suspicions” of “massive repression” of Uighur minority

Barcelona star Antoine Griezmann has broken his ties with Chinese tech giant Huawei over “strong suspicions” of their role in the “massive repression” of the mostly Muslim minority Uighurs.

The 29-year-old made the announcement over his social media streams on Thursday and comes in the wake of reports that the media company were rolling out facial recognition software which would enhance the Chinese government’s surveillance of the group.

Griezmann had been a global brand ambassador for the Chinese company and had featured in several advertisements promoting their products, including their range of smartphones.

The Frenchman is one of the most well-known faces in global football and is among the sport’s largest social media following and is widely viewed as one of the biggest commercial stars.

Griezmann wrote on his Instagram account: “Following strong suspicions that the Huawei company could have contributed to the development of a ‘Uighur alert’ through a facial recognition program, I announce that I am immediately ending my collaboration with this company.

 

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“The company should not be content to deny these accusations, but to take concrete action as soon as possible to condemn this massive repression and use its influence to contribute to the respect of human rights in society.”

Huawei has said of the reports, as cited by The Guardian: “This report is simply a test and it has not seen real-world application. Huawei only supplies general-purpose products for this kind of testing. We do not provide custom algorithms or applications. Huawei operates in compliance with the laws and regulations of all countries and regions where we operate.”

Griezmann joined the Blaugrana from La Liga rivals Atletico Madrid in the summer of 2019.

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