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BASF sells stakes in two China ventures after reports of human rights abuses

FRANKFURT, Germany — German chemical company BASF said Friday that it was speeding up the sale of stakes in two joint ventures in China after its local partner was accused in media reports of human rights abuses.

BASF said in a news release that the market for the industrial chemicals made at the production sites in Korla in China’s Xinjiang region was under increased competitive pressure and oversupplied. The company says it had already begun the divestment process.

However, it added that recent reports had contained “serious allegations” about activities “inconsistent with BASF’s values.”

German news media had reported that employees of a BASF partner firm had participated in a state repression campaign aimed at the region’s minority Muslim Uighur population.

BASF said internal and external audits found no evidence of rights violations and no indication that the employees of the joint ventures — BASF Markor Chemical Manufacturing and Markor Meiou Chemical (Xinjiang) Co — were involved in the alleged violations.

The company said it remained committed to the China market.

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