The Chinese government launched an extensive assimilation of ethnic minorities in the northwestern Xinjiang region. During this period, relevant government departments confiscated and auctioned off the assets of imprisoned Uyghur business owners worth tens of millions of dollars.
Since 2019, the Xinjiang District Court has auctioned no less than 150 assets belonging to at least 21 people on e-commerce websites, including home appliances, real estate and company shares, with a total value of US$84.8 million.
These lists were compiled by the Uyghur Human Rights Project, an advocacy organization, and the Wall Street Journal verified the lists by consulting court documents and company records. The Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region government did not respond to reporters’ requests for comment. The U.S. government provided partial funding for the Uyghur Human Rights Project.
According to the Uyghur Human Rights Project, some of the confiscation of assets is clearly related to judicial cases involving allegations of terrorism and extremism. There are other cases involving individuals who are either identified as extremists by Chinese state media, or they are accused of engaging in such activities according to their families.