Activists Investigating Ivanka Trump's Factory Disappear in China

Owen Stevens
June 1, 2017

"We appeal to President Trump, Ivanka Trump herself, and to her related brand company to advocate and press for the release our activists", China Labour Watch said in the email to Reuters. The detentions underscore concerns that Trump family businesses could be receiving special treatment as Beijing hopes to curry favor with the USA president.

But they now all appear to have been detained, he said, which he said was rare. "This is the first time", he said.

Li said he was sending video footage shot by Su at the Jiangxi factory to Ivanka Trump's company.

The Ivanka Trump brand declined to comment on the detention. Huajian did not immediately respond.

When Li Qiang, the executive director at China Labor Watch couldn't reach Haifeng and the two other men, he eventually concluded: "They must be held either by the factory or the police to be unreachable".

A woman surnamed Mu, who said she was in charge of recruitment at Huajian, said she had not heard about the case.

State police said Skeens, of Farmland, Indiana, and front-seat passenger Jordan were arguing when he punched her and grabbed the steering wheel.

Li said Hua had been accused of using "eavesdropping equipment".

KUHN: China Labor Watch says two of Hua's colleagues are also missing and presumed detained.

The Chinese Labor Watch has investigated hundreds of factories in China and has tried to ensure a fair working environment for those overseas.

The three activists said they found workers were subject to exceptionally long working hours in their preliminary findings, which had not yet been made public. The sister of Jared Kushner, a Trump adviser and husband of Ivanka, travelled to China this past month to court investment from Chinese families for a real estate project in New Jersey.

Night-shift workers at the Huajian shoe factory in Dongguan, China, on September 14, 2016.

The report said pay for some workers equated to less than a dollar an hour. They make millions more for others, including Coach and Nine West.

The key question in light of the organization's apparent track record of never having run-ins with the law is whether Chinese authorities were more likely to crack down on the investigators in an attempt to curry favor with the Trump administration. But the resulting coverage and photographs, some of which showed workers on assembly lines and living in dark dormitory buildings, apparently did not please the company's management.

Huajian president Zhang Huarong also told AFP at the time that the company was moving production to Africa, saying "some manufacturers can't even survive in China anymore".

Deng Guilian, Hua's wife, was notified of his arrest by Jiangxi authorities on Tuesday.

"If he is sentenced for this, I can't accept it. He said he missed Papa", Deng said by phone from her home in central China's Hubei province. The woman was told that she would not be able to speak with, see or receive money from her husband, leaving her anxious and unsure what to tell their two children, apart from: "Papa was taken away by a monster".

Other reports by VgToday

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