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Five Western Companies with Direct Ties to China

Despite having an American majority, these companies have direct financial ties to the Chinese Communist Party.

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The predatory corporate behavior of the Chinese Communist Party is common knowledge. But not everyone knows that the companies they may be used on a daily basis are also owned by Chinese investors, several of whom have direct ties to Xi Jinping’s regime.

Tesla

The mega-company that has revolutionized markets and technology vision, owned by Elon Musk, is actually not entirely his own. While Musk is the majority shareholder with 21.7% of the shares, he recently “received” the support of Chinese tech giant Tencent Holdings Ltd, which bought 5% of the shares, becoming Tesla’s fifth-largest shareholder.

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Tencent Holdings, which is the world’s largest video game company and one of the largest social media companies, founded and headed by Ma Huateng, a billionaire tycoon who is also a delegate to the Chinese Communist Party’s 12th National People’s Congress. In 2019, it had a net income of $14.75 billion according to Statista.

Spotify

The giant that serves the world as its personalized jukebox is increasingly present in people’s daily lives. The company was founded in 2006. Although its origin is Sweden, the company’s shareholders are not exactly Swedish.

compañía, Spotify, china, pcch

Spotify and Tesla have one factor in common and that is Tencent Holdings. In 2017, Tencent Holdings bought Spotify approximately 10% of its shares and vice versa. This joint venture helped Spotify enter the Chinese market, while Tencent expanded its already large portfolio.

WeWork

The craze for coworking spaces is recent, but it gave way to a new form of business. WeWork saw this trend and a decade ago set out to lead the market. Today, its business spans more than 4 million square meters of coworking space.

WeWork went through turbulent times financially until Beijing-based Legend Holdings Corp. invested more than $430 million in the company following its new “sharing economy” model. Thus, Legend’s Hony Capital CEO John Zhao said, “Our investment in WeWork is strategic and obvious.” Legend is also the majority shareholder of Lenovo with 29%.

However, Legend Holdings is owned by the Chinese Academy of Sciences, not a private party. The Academy is an institution of China’s State Council, the highest executive body of the Chinese Communist Party.

Lionsgate

American Psycho and The Hunger Games are two of the big blockbusters Lionsgate has created. But, in 2015, Lionsgate also achieved another success to its credit.

In that year, Lionsgate struck a juicy $1.5 billion deal with Hunan TV, a Chinese television giant, with the Chinese company taking on 25% of Lionsgate’s projects for the next several years.

Hunan TV, however, is not what you might call a “free and independent company.” It is actually owned by Hunan Broadcasting System, which, in turn, is owned by the Hunan provincial government.

Airbnb

Airbnb could easily be one of the biggest competitions the conventional hotel market has faced in its history. While it started as a simple idea, its outcome has been greater than expected by founders Brian Chesky, Joe Gebbia and Nathan Blecharczyk.

(Flickr)

Its growth reached such a point that in 2017, the company consolidated a $100 million mega investment from the China Investment Corp (CIC). The CIC is a sovereign wealth fund responsible for managing part of the People’s Republic of China’s international reserve.

The management and Board of Directors of China Investment Corporation report directly to the State Council of the Chinese Communist Party. Its director Ding Xuedong became Vice Minister of Finance of the Beijing dictatorship from 2008 to 2010.

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