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Visa sponsoring Communist Chinese Party’s Olympics amid ongoing Uyghur genocide

IOC President Thomas Bach during the Opening Ceremony of BEIJING 2022. (Greg Martin/IOC/Released)
February 11, 2022

Credit card giant Visa is helping the Chinese Communist Party carry out the Beijing Olympics this month despite party leaders committing disturbing genocide of Uyghurs in the country’s Xinjiang region that include torture, forced sterilization and labor, and disappearing people.

For nearly 50 years, Visa has taken pride in “operating responsibly, ethically and transparently.” The company has even been formally recognized for valuing human rights – in 2019, Visa was named one of the Best Places to Work for LGBTQ Equality by the Human Rights Campaign.

“At Visa, we recognize our responsibility to respect, advance and maintain global human rights standards across our company, operations and supply chain,” Visa’s Corporate Policy and Sustainability Report states

In Beijing, China — nearly 6,000 miles from Visa’s headquarters in California — the company’s professed dedication to human rights disappears. Visa has chosen to sponsor the Beijing Olympics despite international outcry over the Chinese Communist Party’s genocide in Xinjiang. 

Grim witness reports of genocide in the region have revealed killings, torture, rape, enslavement, forced separation of children from their parents, forced sterilization and abortion, enforced disappearances, and destruction of cultural and religious heritage. China has become known as one of the worst human rights violators in the world.

American Military News reached out to Visa regarding its Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability Report and how the company will maintain its ethics standards at the Beijing Olympics as the Chinese Communist Party commits genocide, but Visa did not return a request for comment. 

As a sponsor of the Beijing Olympics, Visa is one of three payment choices in the Olympic Village, aside from cash and China’s digital currency, CNN reported.  

During testimony before Congress last year over its sponsorship of China’s Olympic Games, Visa justified its involvement with stories of how the company has helped Chinese citizens over the years. 

“In China, Visa has conducted financial literacy programs for the past decade. As of December 2020, we have helped more than 10 million rural residents live and work better through our financial literacy initiatives,” said Andrea Fairchild, Senior Vice President of Global Sponsorship Strategy at Visa.

“Visa is also partnering with the China Women’s Development Foundation to ensure that the Beijing 2022 Games help advance rural revitalization and leave a strong legacy of economic development in the region,” she continued. “This initiative includes providing comprehensive business skills training to help an estimated 5,000 women-led small businesses in connection with the Games.”

Fairchild did not mention the human rights atrocities occurring in Xinjiang at the hands of the Chinese Communist Party.