China Detains Rights Monitor Investigating Ivanka Trump Shoe Factory

Labor watchdog says it lost contact with three workers probing shoemakers, and at least one has been detained

Investigator Hua Haifeng was detained on suspicion of illegal eavesdropping, his wife said, citing a call Tuesday afternoon from police in Jiangxi province. Under Chinese law, that refers to the use of listening equipment in a way that causes “serious consequences.”

.. group’s founder, Li Qiang

.. Ivanka Trump shoe-brand licensee Marc Fisher Footwear, which operates as a middleman between the brand and Chinese factories, said it had been unaware of the situation and would look into it immediately.

.. China Labor Watch often investigates factories supplying prominent companies such asApple Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co. , with the aim of using the brands’ star power to bring broad attention to Chinese labor conditions.

.. China’s government tightly controls independent investigations and surveys. In recent years it has clamped down broadly on civil-society groups, detaining numerous activists and lawyers.

.. Mr. Li said he plans to send Ms. Trump video footage and other evidence of what the group calls questionable labor practices its investigators found at both factories, including longer shifts than the law allows, with workers asked to sign falsified time cards.