Chinese Workers "Disappeared" While Investigating Ivanka Trump Brands

Tyler Durden's picture

Chinese police are cracking down on labor activists attempting to expose sweatshop-like working conditions at a local factory that manufactures shoes for Ivanka Trump's label. One activist working on the campaign has been detained, while two others have disppeared, and are presumably in police custody, according to Western media reports.

Hua Haifeng, Li Zhao and Su Heng, who were working undercover under the direction of New York-based workers' rights organization China Labor Watch, have been unreachable by phone over the weekend, Li Qiang, the founder of the advocacy group, told Bloomberg. The three men had been investigating labor conditions at factories that produce shoes for Ivanka Trump’s brand and other Western brands. A picture of Zhao, published in the WaPo, can be seen below:

Local police contacted Hua’s wife by phone Tuesday afternoon and told her that he’d been detained for “illegal eavesdropping,” Bloomberg reported.

The factory, operated by shoe manufacturer Huajian Group and located in the southeast province of Jiangxi, is one of 15 that supposedly makes shoes for the brand founded by President Donald Trump’s eldest daughter, Bloomberg reported. In a letter sent to Ivanka Trump in April, the group alleged several labor violations at two of these factories, including that employees were forced to work at least 12 1/2 hours a day for wages below China’s legal minimum, a pay rate equal to about $1 an hour, Bloomberg said.

The arrest and disappearances come at a time of sustained pressure on labor activists in China amid a crackdown on civil society under President Xi Jinping, Reuters reported.

In 17 years of activism, including investigations of hundreds of factories in China, no member of Li’s group has ever been arrested for suspicion of having committed a crime, Li told Reuters. He also told The Washington Post that having three people detained was “rare.”


"This is the first time we've come across this kind of situation," he told Reuters, adding the accusation against Hua had "no factual basis".


Amnesty International called for the three to be released if they were being held only for investigating possible labor abuses at the factories.


"Activists exposing potential human rights abuses deserve protection not persecution," Amnesty’s China researcher, William Nee, told Reuters.


Huajian has previously said it has been making shoes for the U.S. president’s daughter for nearly a decade, accounting for one-third of her shoes made in China – though her shoes account for only a small portion of the company’s total output, according to WaPo.


The effort has been under intense police scrutiny for months, according to China Labor Watch. Two of the activists were told they were not allowed to leave China in April and May, Li said, a request he characterized as “relatively common,” according to WaPo.

The Daily Beast reported that Ivanka-branded shoes were being produced at the factory back in December, when the media organization published a photoessay documenting its working conditions. Some of these photos can be seen below:

The crackdown on the labor activists follows a public détente between President Trump and China. The former has dropped his protectionist rhetoric and praised China’s leader, Xi Jinping, for offering to work with the US on helping to curb North Korea’s nuclear ambition.

However, escalating tensions related to China’s buildup of artificial reefs in disputed waters in the South China Sea, have recently led to a series of uncomfortable encounters between Chinese fighter jets and the US military. Last week, two Chinese jets attempted to “intercept” a US military surveillance plane flying near Hong Kong, with one jet reportedly coming within 200 yards of the US aircraft.





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ACP's picture

Yeah but nevermind all the Nike, Apple, future landfill you buy from Amazon,  etc etc etc.

AVmaster's picture



Apple gets a free pass because it keeps the snowflakes in check... Or at least it used to...

Scanderbeg's picture

You see the way it works is suicide nets are fine as long as it's a leftwing technocrats factory.

LOL when the article suggests it's abnormal for labor activists to be detained in China.

It also seems to be suggesting that this alleged crack down might be part of some Quid Pro Quo related to the SCS dispute.


Bad Tylers. Very bad Tylers.

NidStyles's picture

$100 says this story is bullshit, and was created to generate more sales for her "brand".

MasterControl's picture

Notice how google isn't in your list.  Thats how brainwashed you motherfuckers are.

The central planners's picture

Make Made in China great again.

j0nx's picture

Stopped reading at Washington post. Zero legitimacy at that point.

MarkD's picture

But Nike, Apple nor the products being bought at Amazon jump up and down saying China is bad and we need to Make America Great Again.

Trump has succeeded in convincing a group of Americans that he will change the path we are going..... while doing the opposite.

Ivanka makes a shitload more money having her shoes made in China rather than here in US. If the Trumps really meant the trash they spit out, Ivanka would have her shoes made here and would make less per pair. But thats not how it works now does it. Wealthy always want more wealth.

Oldwood's picture

Most businesses in America have no more choice in where they manufacture than American consumers have a choice of where they buy their consumables from.

Get it?

We ALL have choice but those choices have cost, consequence. Many businesses participate in the export of our jobs, but grudgingly.....just like we consumers do. We ALL have responsibility in this, some recognize, maybe even feel guilt, while everyone else just looks for someone else to BLAME.

We can hate on off shore businesses for their greed while we scurry about the internet seeking out the absolutely cheapest price for every purchase of our  lives.....while pretending we have no choice and our actions have no impact on our businesses and neighbor's jobs.

factorypreset's picture

The reality is, however, the mass off-shoring of our manufacturing sectors/industries/jobs was something over which the average American had little control when it was all being put into place.  Our politicians, banksters, and business execs KNEW what China's plans were (and to a lesser degree, other developing countries) in terms of growing their economy some 30+ years ago.  They had, at that time and since, the choice to do the right thing and train the US workforce for other skills in other industries (service, tech, info, etc...)  Instead, they chose to make as much $$ as they could and shafted the US workers. 

Globalization was/is spun to us as 'a rising tide raises all ships' - in reality it is, in my opinion, more like 'the great equalization' (something which the politicians, banksters and biz execs also knew would be the case) - developing countries will see the average person's standard of living increase significantly and the wealthy countries will see the average person's standard of living decrease significantly.  This is happening NOW right under our noses - however, it's not as noticeable thanks to the enormous amounts of debt we use to maintain the illusion that nothing has changed - but everyone senses something is wrong even if they don't understand all the machinations that got us here.  Eventually, I believe, there will be a reckoning.  And I also believe most Americans are in for a pretty rude awakening.

FWIW, I would love to purchase US made products (and do so when possible) even at a higher price..but it's damned near impossible to do so without going to an extremely abnormal amount of effort.  Working 50-60 hours a week at my day gig, and another 10-20 at my side gig, I don't have a lot of time left over.  So if you can supply some site links or suggestions as to where I can buy American made I'd greatly appreciate.

SmittyinLA's picture

They got Schlonged

vato poco's picture

"according to western media sources". No, actually, that's according to The Washington Fucking Post and Reuters. i.e., Fake News ground zero. 


oddly enough, those "western media sources" have exactly jack shit to say about trifles like...oh, I dunno.....the murder of Seth Rich; or Pizzagate; or Team Obama using the NSA et al to try and swing a presidential election; or the Clinton connection in re the Lolita Express; or .....etc etc etc

His name was Seth Rich




Tarzan's picture

His name is also, Beranton J. Whisenant Jr.

He was a federal prosecutor in the major crimes division, who according to One America News was investigating the DNC. His body was found, with a gun shot to the head, washing up on the shore just south of Magnolia Terrace on Hollywood beach early Wednesday by a passerby.

Is it a coincidence that Debbie Wasserman Schultz' threatened a Police Chief with ‘Consequences’ Over Criminal Probe of Her IT Staffer just days before?

Hollywood Beach happens to be the epicenter of Her district.

#DNC Assassinations

SmittyinLA's picture

We need to send Kathy Griffin to investigate

mkkby's picture

China understands so-called activits are actually CIA/Soros paid spies and political agitators.  Disappear them is the way to do it.

The US media and deep state are actually traitors trying to destroy america.  Disappear them too.

SmittyinLA's picture

C'mon Kathy, a free shoes and purses tour of China, don't worry about the one way ticket it's open ended.

SmittyinLA's picture

OMG, people working call Gloria Allred!

hxc's picture




Fake Trump's picture

Made in China. I thought Trump wanted to bring jobs back to America. Hypocrisy. 

Oldwood's picture

He wants to make America a place where businesses CAN survive. It's many times not a choice of how much profit but one of if there can be a business at all.

Many businesses did not seek out illegals, but when some did.....with NO consequence, then their only choice was based upon survival. 

As consumers we can deluded ourselves that the world is a collectivist utopia where we can all have prosperous jobs while buying EVERYTHING from China, but it IS an illusion only sustained (temporarily) by debt. 

Businesses are a direct response to consumers. If WE decide to not purchase imports, then every manufacturer in the world will be on our shores. Buck up and stop blaming the wrong people. We have met the enemy and it is US!

Lanka's picture

It's best to wear flip-flops.

Fake Trump's picture

Ivanka brand flip flops which are MADE IN CHINA. Bring jobs back to America. 

Oldwood's picture

Stop buying CHINESE you FOOL.  And you KNOW you DO, even while you vilify anyone who actually manufactures there.

beemasters's picture

Er...Trump should probably tell Americans to stop buying Ivanka's?

forgottenozonehole's picture

OMG, so much for "buy americans"....

Sorry "rust belt" guys, there won't be any "border tax" for chinese crap. You know... I can't work against family.....

Fake Trump's picture

       ...         IVANKA BRANDS

                    Made in China

mary mary's picture

Hey, Mr. Fake, why don't you set up a shoe factory.  Right there in Bill Clinton's basement next to the computer you sit at trolling ZH all day.

The Ingenious Gentleman's picture

OH MY GOD! Those pictures are horrific! People going to work, people working, people going home from work. The horror!

Fake Trump's picture

Buy Ivanka Brands to make her  richer.  

Grandad Grumps's picture

Where are the six year-olds chained to the machines as Britain did in Dickens' day or later were done in NY sweat shops.

Fake Trump's picture

Trump. What is your say? Buy American? Fucking bullshit. Don't tell me it is fake news again. 

aurum4040's picture

Who cares - it's clothing. How many pieces of clothing do you own that are made in US? Better yet, how many Apple components are made in America? About the same amount of Hillary Podesta emails that were hacked by Russia. 

Fake Trump's picture

Buy iPhone because they are made in China. Buy Ivanka brands because they are also made in China. Great stuffs.

Pop3y3too's picture

Let me be the first to say, "Sum Ting Wong"! 

Grandad Grumps's picture

I am guessing that Li's group is paid a lot of money to be spies for western political interests and to turn against the Chinese people and government.

M2's picture

I'm fairly certain many Americans would love to have a job in a factory in China. Particularly given the society is on the upswing, people are getting wealthier at all levels. My father used to work on the line at GM, sometimes he lived at the factory - a lot of people did. And the conditions were way worse than a sterile electronics factory or a shoe factory in China. And Flint and Detroit are covered in pollution. Just something to think about. We can't hold China to the same standard as the USA, when we ourselves never held such a standard at that early stage in development. Either did London for that matter.  

Von Berger's picture


shimmy's picture

Let me guess, the libtard media is going to say Trump is to blame for this. 

Arrest Hillary's picture

While children were working in Dicken's England .... they were being grabbed by the ankles and slammed against a tree in China  (planned parenthood) .... the industrial revolution was pure gold .... compared to what the rest of the world was doing ?

trillion_dollar_deficit's picture


This factory makes less than 25k shoes annually for the Ivanka Trump brand but millions of shoes for other high end brands. Even NPR had to admit that when I first heard about this story yesterday.

0hedgehog's picture

"New York-based workers' rights organization"


Gee... might that be a George Soros organization? I would love to know who funds it.

Budnacho's picture

If the Tylers are going to keep printing shit like this all I can ask is when do we get ready for new ZH Editor Bix Weir?

RightLineBacker's picture


Just another fake news Trump hit piece from Bezos and his WaPoop Mafia.

nevertheless's picture

OMG get a grip, please keep your desire to suck trump's dick to yourself...disgusting