British supermarket chain Tesco has immediately stopped the production of Christmas cards in a Chinese factory, because it uses forced labour. In one of the cards sold, a girl from London discovered a cry for help.
"We are foreign prisoners in Shanghai Qingpu prison China. Forced to work against our will. Please help us and notify human rights organisations." That message was written in print in a Christmas card purchased from supermarket chain Tesco. A six-year-old girl made the remarkable discovery.
Tesco responded to the message by promptly shutting down production: the company told the BBC it was "shocked" and added that it would never allow prison labour in its production chain. The retailer is also investigating the factory where the Christmas cards are made.
The supplier concerned, Zhejiang Yunguang Printing, has already formally contested the allegations. Factory manager Shu Yunjia told the BBC that he had never outsourced work to the Qingpu prison. However, the man could not say how the cry for help could have ended up in the card.