Business Standard

US funds pull out of Chinese companies over Uighur detention in Xinjiang


As the US administration ups its scrutiny regarding the use of its capital market to fund the mass detention of Uighurs in China's Xinjiang, large US investment funds have sold their equity stakes in Chinese surveillance company Hikvision.
The Chinese company, along with Dahua, has allegedly won contracts to the tune of USD 1.2 billion in surveillance project contracts in Xinjiang since 2016, according to the Financial Times.
Quoting Copley Fund Research, Financial Times reports that Fidelity Emerging Markets Fund, Goldman Sachs EM Equity Fund, Fullerton Global Emerging Markets Equities Fund, RWC Global Emerging Equity Fund and three other US funds have all closed their positions in recent months.
However, despite the US government's heightened scrutiny, two public pension funds for teachers - the California State Teachers' Retirement System (Calstrs) and the New York State Teachers' Retirement System (NYSTRS) - still have shares in Hikvision.
Meanwhile, senior Republican Marco Rubio is spearheading efforts to get members of the US Congress to sign a letter expressing concerns about "problematic" Chinese companies, whose connection to the situation in Xinjiang has been ascertained.
"The US government should require Chinese companies operating in America's capital markets to disclose their ties to the Chinese government's security apparatus and human rights abuses," Rubio told Financial Times. "American investors and pensioners have a right to know this information given it poses material, asymmetric risks to the reputations and valuations of Chinese companies," he added.
"A lot of investors talk about ethical investing but when it comes to Hikvision and Xinjiang they are happy to fill their boots. It is pretty hypocritical," a fund manager who sold out of Hikvision told Financial Times.
Meanwhile, human rights groups estimate that about one million Uighurs are being held in facilities at China's Xinjiang.

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First Published: Mar 28 2019 | 9:12 PM IST

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