There is no dictator more powerful today than the Chinese Communist Party’s Chairman, Xi Jinping. Having crushed his comrades to ascend atop the Politburo, Xi carefully and ruthlessly purged those disloyal to him then dismantled the two-term limit that prevented his predecessors after Chairman Mao from becoming leader for life.
Over the past 11 years of Xi’s rule, the CCP has clamped down on all dissent, launched a massive military modernization expansion, dredged up islands in the South China Sea to serve as aircraft carriers, and stole the personal information of millions of Americans.
Beginning in 2017, the CCP started rounding up Uyghurs Muslims into concentration camps, sterilizing and forcing abortions on Uyghur women in a genocidal effort to assert Han Chinese supremacy and reduce the number of racial and ethnic minorities in China.
The list of the CCP’s aggressive acts grows monthly – from supporting Russia’s invasion of Ukraine to flying a spy balloon over the continental United States. Such actions merit a robust response – not just from the U.S. government from every segment of society.
The monumental task of preventing the CCP from carrying out its goals of domination cannot be achieved without the cooperation of the American business community. Unfortunately, too many have prioritized profits over their patriotic duties.
This November, the Chinese Communist Party’s Chairman Xi Jinping took to the stage to address a group of business executives in San Francisco in the ballroom of a Hyatt Regency. Tickets to the dinner ran $2,000 a plate and the venue was full. Shamefully, Chairman Xi was repeatedly met with rounds of standing applause by these executives.
An accounting for our corporate leaders is sorely needed.
Polaris’ list, The Top 10 Corporate Appeasers of Communist China, is not about detailing the companies making the most money in China. We are highlighting the companies that go above and beyond to serve the interests of the CCP, to repeat CCP propaganda, and who sacrifice American national security and values along the way.
We hope this report provides a wake-up call for corporate leaders to do the right thing, to reduce reliance on China, and to realize that together the U.S. corporate community has the power to pressure the CCP and not just be their passive agents.
Morgan D. Ortagus
Founder, Polaris National Security
Few CEOs have been as transparent as Nike’s John Donahoe when he stated that the company is “a brand of China and for China.” Indeed, the athletic company has cemented a reputation as an exploiter of forced labor, hypocritical in its political activism, and appeasing Beijing to preserve its market share in China.
Within the United States, Nike has been on the front lines of social justice activism. The company rewarded former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick with an advertisement campaign after he earned notoriety for kneeling during the National Anthem and attacking U.S. law enforcement. Nike also expressed its strong opposition to Indiana’s “discriminatory” Religious Freedom Restoration Act. In keeping with its progressive bona fides, Nike has dropped a collection in celebration of Pride Month.
At best, Nike’s response to China’s repression in Xinjiang was measured, with the company expressing concern with reports of the CCP’s actions. The company continues to deny allegations that its factory in Laixi City is using forced labor and sourcing products from Xinjiang, stating that its contract suppliers do not use textiles or spun yarn from the region. But such claims rely on Nike’s “independent third-party audits,” which have previously failed to detect suppliers’ participation in forced labor. Given the ease with which production and employment records can be falsified and the fear of reprisal facing Uyghur workers who speak out, little faith can be placed in these assessments. Nor does Nike’s past use of sweatshops and history of sub-contracting factories with worker abuse inspire confidence.
Recent investigations have further intensified concerns about Nike’s operations in China. For instance, Canada has initiated probes into Nike over allegations of using forced labor in China. Such international scrutiny underscores the gravity of the human rights concerns associated with Nike’s supply chain.
Nike further indicated its complicity in Xinjiang by actively lobbying against the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act and seeking to water down its provisions. The company spent an estimated $920,000 on in-house lobbying of Congress and other federal agencies during the first three quarters of 2020, when the bill was under consideration.
This lobbying effort is not isolated. Reports suggest that Nike, along with other major corporations, was actively lobbying Congress to dilute the provisions of the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Bill. Such actions raise questions about Nike’s commitment to ethical business practices and its stance on human rights issues.
Refusing to plainly disavow the CCP’s authoritarianism and demonstrate disassociation from Xinjiang are evidence of Nike’s prioritization of financial gain over standing up for human rights. These decisions normalize China’s repression, bolster China’s economic standing, and signal to other U.S. companies that such corporate behavior is profitable–actions that undermine America’s economic and political response to Beijing.
Shareholders have also voiced their concerns, criticizing Nike for not taking adequate measures to prevent abuses within its supply chain. The juxtaposition of Nike’s activism in the U.S. and its alleged complicity in human rights abuses in China continues to draw criticism and skepticism.
Number of Employees worldwide: 83,700
Annual Revenue: $51.217 billion
Revenue from China: $7.248 billion
Fortune 500 Ranking: 93
Key People: John Donahoe (CEO), Mark Parker (Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors), Angela Dong (Global VP and General manager of Greater China)
Annual DC Lobbying Spent: $680,000
Political Contributions: $688,498
Nike and China – In The News
CNBC: Nike CEO John Donahoe says breaking up with China would be ‘disastrous’ amid rising geopolitical tensions
Reuters: Canada probes Nike, Dynasty Gold on forced Uighur labor in China.
Bloomberg: US Lawmakers Query Nike, Adidas Over Forced Labor in China
Under the leadership of CEO Larry Fink, BlackRock has developed extensive ties in China, purportedly aimed at encouraging middle-class households to invest in the domestic financial market. “I continue to firmly believe China will be one of the biggest opportunities for BlackRock over the long term, both for asset managers and investors, despite the uncertainty and decoupling of global systems we’re seeing today.” But BlackRock’s engagement with China goes well beyond simple investment strategies.
The U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission has recommended curbing economic ties with China. But the company’s channeling of billions of U.S. dollars into ostensibly private Chinese companies continues apace.
Ignoring the high-risk profile of such investments, BlackRock has provided support to Chinese surveillance companies like Hikvision and iFlytek, which have been used to subjugate the Uyghur population in Xinjiang and remain on the U.S. Commerce Department’s trade blacklist. After the U.S. House committee raised concerns about BlackRock’s investments in China, the company and other fund managers are bracing for increased scrutiny over their China-related investments. This has led to outflows from BlackRock’s China funds, further highlighting the risks and challenges of navigating the Chinese market.
No responsible shareholder should be attached to a company complicit in such atrocities. Even George Soros has questioned the prudence of BlackRock’s actions, noting that investors in China face a “rude awakening” on the consequences of rushing into a market where crackdowns on private enterprise are common. But Beijing has strategically used the promise of access to its market to gain Wall Street allies. Fink has obliged, consulting with the Beijing government during the Trump trade negotiations.
At home, BlackRock promotes ESG principles and is vocal in its push for “climate justice.” But in its dealings with China–the largest producer of greenhouse gas emissions globally–BlackRock is quick to disregard its supposed ethical commitments while ignoring the lack of oversight and enforcement of U.S. auditing standards in Chinese companies.
BlackRock’s deep engagement in Chinese markets does not just undermine the interests of America’s investors. It makes the CCP the company’s ultimate fiduciary. Wall Street should learn to stop fueling Beijing’s economic rise before it’s too late.
Number of US based Employees: 11,290
Number of China Based Employees: 70
Number of Employees worldwide: 19,800
Annual Revenue: $17.35 (in Billions)
Fortune 500 Ranking: 229
Key People: Larry Fink (CEO), Rob Kapito (President), Joud Abdel Majeid (Global Head of Investment Stewardship), Susan Chan (Head of Greater China)
Annual DC Lobbying Spent: $1.01 Million
Political Contributions: $1.32 Million
BlackRock and China – In The News
CNBC: U.S. House committee flags MSCI, BlackRock for China investments
Bloomberg: BlackRock, Fund Managers Brace for Even More Scrutiny Over China
FT: BlackRock China funds named in US lawmaker probe suffer outflows
Few American companies have appeased the CCP as deeply as Disney. In recent years, the media giant has routinely complied with censorship demands, collaborated with entities in Xinjiang, and prioritized profits in the lucrative Chinese market. These business practices embolden the regime’s human rights abuses abroad and mis-educate the American public on the China challenge at home. By downplaying the severity of the CCP’s repression, Disney’s actions undercut American national security and advance Beijing’s campaign for hegemony and attacks on the free world.
Disney has led the way among Hollywood studios in spreading Chinese propaganda and adopting CCP-friendly business tactics. This lack of principle was exposed prominently in its live-action remake of Mulan, whose movie credits openly thanked eight Chinese government entities in Xinjiang. This included the Turpan Public Security Bureau, which administers concentration camps where Uyghur Muslims are subjected to genocide, forced labor, and religious oppression.
Self-censoring films has become a precondition for access to China’s lucrative market. Disney has obliged these demands by regularly altering its scripts, changing its characters, and adapting its plots to suppress content deemed politically sensitive by the CCP. Films are designed to fit Beijing’s narratives, often omitting references to Taiwan or the South China Sea. In another instance of compliance with CCP censorship demands, Disney dropped a ‘Simpsons’ episode in Hong Kong that mentioned China’s ‘forced labor’, further highlighting the company’s willingness to prioritize access to the Chinese market over principles.
Ever since China blocked Disney for producing a film critical of Chinese oppression in Tibet in 1996, the company has taken pains to accommodate CCP demands. While concessions, compromise, and apologies may ensure lucrative ventures in the short term, Disney’s behavior will do lasting damage to the Chinese people and our homeland.
Disney’s dealings in China have not gone unnoticed by shareholders. The company was recently confronted by an activist shareholder inquiring about its involvement in China, especially concerning human rights violations.
Number of US based Employees: 166,000
Number of China Based Employees: 11,000
Number of Employees worldwide: 220,000
Annual Revenue: $82,722 (in Millions)
Fortune 500 Ranking: 66
Key People: Bob Iger (CEO), Asad Ayaz (Chief Brand Officer)
Annual DC Lobbying Spent: $2.69 Million
Political Contributions: $3.51 Million
Disney and China – In The News:
Reuters: Report of Wuhan-Disney talks was fake, Chinese official media says
Wall Street Journal: Disney Lays Off More Than 300 Streaming-Focused Employees in China. Company has begun first wave of a plan to cut 7,000 jobs
FT: Disney cuts ‘Simpson’s episode with China labor camp reference in Hong Kong
#7: National Basketball Association (NBA)
Repeated scandals have well-earned the NBA’s reputation as a lackey of the CCP within the international community. While loudly advocating for social justice causes in the United States and condemning America for “systemic racism” and gun violence, the NBA has turned a blind eye to the genocide in Xinjiang and China’s many human rights violations. One owner of the Golden State Warriors went so far as to say that “nobody cares” about persecution against Uyghur Muslims in China. The NBA’s selective outrage exposes a lack of principle and moral compromise.
The NBA has systematically sidelined anti-CCP political activists in its ranks and worked to placate officials in Beijing. In 2019, the NBA responded to a pro-democracy tweet by former Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey by stating that it was “regrettable” his comments voicing support for Hong Kong’s protesters offended many in China. Leaving little room for doubt on what happens to players who speak out, NBA teams have also shunned former Boston Celtics player Enes Kanter Freedom, who condemned Xi Jinping as a “brutal dictator,” expressed support for the Free Tibet movement, and urged Congress to pass the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act.
The financial entanglement of NBA team owners has left the league vulnerable to CCP pressures and sparked alarm in the West about funding PLA-affiliated entities. Collectively, the personal stakes of league patrons amount to an estimated $10 billion in China. Business ties include relationships with state-owned entities such as Carnival-CSSC–a vital component of China’s military-civil fusion strategy. NBA dollars may very well fund PLA tech upgrades and the ships that attack Taiwan.
The NBA has gone so far as to promote CCP propaganda in the nation’s capital, airing a video message provided by the PRC’s Minister of Foreign Affairs to thousands of fans. The league’s public relations services for the CCP’s “China Media Group” have also helped Beijing exert soft power during games and events. Such behavior is unbecoming of any entity and works in direct opposition to U.S. foreign policy.
Number of China Based Employees: 200
Number of Employees worldwide: 1,173
Annual Revenue: $10.02 Billion
Fortune 500 Ranking: Not Ranked
Key People: Adam Silver (Commissioner), Michael Ma (CEO, NBA China)
Annual DC Lobbying Spend: $0
Political Contributions: $0
NBA and China – In The News
CNBC: NBA and Ant Group launch a strategic partnership in China
Voice of America: Ex-Player to Congress: China Criticism Derailed His NBA Career
CNN: Former NBA Star Dwight Howard Sparks Backlash in China after Calling Taiwan a ‘Country’
Marking the CCP’s centennial anniversary, Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted that China’s economic prosperity is “truly amazing” and encouraged people to “visit and see for themselves.” Such commentary has become emblematic of Tesla’s extensive business ties in China. The company has made its way to this list due to its role in advancing China’s technological sophistication, overlooking human rights concerns in Xinjiang, and its founder’s warm relationship with CCP officials–behaviors that contradict America’s interests and pose a threat to our national security.
The company’s presence in China is equipping Beijing with the American technology, expertise, and capital to overtake the United States as the world’s premier superpower. It has also helped Beijing combat the narrative that PRC investments are too risky for firms with valuable technology. Shanghai has obliged Tesla’s business with a preferential corporate income tax rate, favorable COVID-19 measures, and assistance in transporting thousands of workers to its “Gigafactory,” which has made China the company’s second-top market for EV sales.
Musk’s pro-China sympathies have prompted concerns that Beijing holds leverage over Tesla and the business magnate. He has stated that the United States and China share “inseparable” interests and argued for a special administrative zone in Taiwan–a proposal touted by former Chinese Ambassador Qin Gang. Officials in Beijing seem to believe they hold leverage over Musk as they publicly voice opinions on his use of Starlink and Twitter. Noticeably, Twitter has gone so far as to drop labels for Chinese state-affiliated and government-funded entities, obfuscating the CCP’s role in editorial content from Chinese outlets and journalists.
Tesla’s dependence on the Chinese market has deepened China’s involvement in global supply chains and provided the CCP strategic leverage over the West. Repeatedly, Tesla has ignored Beijing’s “self-sufficiency” campaign, which ultimately aims to replace Tesla with domestic EV manufacturing. Xi’s government has shown itself willing to exert improper influence over companies and manipulate their market access, licenses, or approvals. Tesla is no exception to that rule.
Perhaps most egregiously, Tesla opened a showroom in Xinjiang, a region notorious for human rights abuses against the Uyghur Muslim population, less than a year after the U.S. State Department designated the PRC’s actions there as genocide. This decision showed remarkable indifference to the plight of Uyghur muslims and a willingness to indulge China’s repression.
Number of US based Employees: 47,000
Number of China Based Employees: 20,000
Number of Employees worldwide: 127,800
Total Annual Revenue: $81.5 Billion
Total Revenue from China: $18.145 Billion
Fortune 500 Ranking: 50
Key People: Elon Musk (CEO), Tom Zhu (senior VP)
Annual DC Lobbying Spent: $580,000
Political Contributions: $176,589
Tesla and China – In The News:
Washington Post: EV makers’ use of Chinese suppliers raises concerns about forced labor
Yahoo News: Tesla Pledges to Uphold ‘Core Socialist Values’ in China
Wall Street Journal: Tesla Opens Showroom in China’s Xinjiang, Region at Center of U.S. Genocide Allegations
#5: Discover, FiServ, and UnionPay
By integrating Chinese state-owned financial services into its payment services, Discover has rapidly emerged as a prominent America credit card company, jeopardizing our sensitive data and financial privacy. FiServ, a U.S.-based fintech company, has since followed suit by further expanding UnionPay’s service usage. Their continued integration with UnionPay, a Chinese financial services corporation–despite Beijing’s explicit strategy to influence global technology standards–is quickly jeopardizing consumers’ and businesses’ financial data. There is no doubt the CCP will weaponize this information to undermine America’s security and enhance its global economic standing.
Recent reports from human rights organizations have highlighted widespread human rights violations in Xinjiang. This context raises further concerns about Discover’s partnership with UnionPay, given the potential for data sharing with the CCP.
Thanks to legislation passed by the National People’s Congress in China, all companies operating in China can be compelled to turn over all national security-related data, documents, materials, and items to the CCP. Should Beijing apply this measure to UnionPay, the CCP could harvest the location, timing, and value of all debit and credit card transactions of U.S. persons shared with UnionPay by Discover. That would not only expose the purchasing history of Americans; it could enable the CCP to study the buying patterns of U.S. servicemembers and intelligence professionals.
China’s leadership has made clear it wants to supplant the U.S. dollar with its own currency. UnionPay advances that objective by serving as a payment processing giant and providing an alternative to U.S. banking and financial services. UnionPay has been able to access the American payment system and process U.S. debit card transactions under a provision of the Dodd-Frank financial reform law. Even without corrective action, American companies like Discover must not advance the financial dominance of UnionPay, which already conducts 40 percent of all global debit card transactions and has 9.4 billion debit and credit cards in circulation.
While many lawmakers have raised concerns about TikTok and ByteDance’s collection of user data on behalf of the CCP, the risks of millions of users’ financial history being shared with a CCP-owned firm should not be dismissed. UnionPay cannot deepen its penetration of the U.S. market, either on its own or through existing partnerships with Discover and FiServ.
FiServ’s partnership with UnionPay has deepened in 2023, with UnionPay tapping FiServ for further global expansion. This collaboration, while beneficial for both companies, raises concerns about the potential sharing of sensitive financial data with the CCP, especially in light of Beijing’s strategy to influence global technology standards.
Fast Facts (Discover):
Number of US based Employees: 15,137
Number of China Based Employees: 600
Number of Employees worldwide: 17,600
Annual Revenue: $14.84 (in Billions)
Fortune 500 Ranking: 273
Key People: John B. Owen (Interim CEO),
Annual DC Lobbying Spent: $1.93 Million
Political Contributions: $1.03 Million
During his March visit to Beijing, CEO Tim Cook touted Apple’s “symbiotic” ties with China. The statement was further proof of the company’s willingness to cooperate with the country’s communist authorities to ensure continued access to China’s consumer market. Even amidst escalating geopolitical tensions between the United States and China, Apple has dismissed American concerns about the company’s user data protections, its compliance with CCP censorship laws, and role in stifling protests.
Recent developments in 2023 have further complicated Apple’s relationship with China. While China has publicly denied reports of banning iPhones for government officials, they have cited unspecified security issues related to Apple’s products. This has raised concerns about potential national security implications surrounding Apple’s products in the country. Furthermore, China’s position on Apple has become more muddled due to various security issues reported in recent months, emphasizing the delicate balance Apple must maintain in its operations within China.
Apple has adapted its products and services to comply with China’s edicts and appease CCP regulations, proactively removing tens of thousands of apps in its Chinese App Store with potentially politically-sensitive content. Just last November, a China-only software update limited the AirDrop feature, preventing protesters from sharing resources and coordinating resistance efforts. That came on the heels of decisions to exclude Chinese users from a web-browsing privacy feature and pull VPN services from its Chinese App Store. While tech giants like Google, Facebook, and Youtube are blocked for refusing to comply with China’s censorship, Apple has seen fit to prioritize its business profits.
Apple has also worked hand in glove with the CCP’s surveillance apparatus by agreeing to store Chinese user data on state-owned servers. Cooperation also extends to data encryption technology, which China must approve. Apple has shown itself willing to hand over sensitive and confidential information to China’s leaders, posing severe security risks for its customers.
With Apple reporting nearly $24 billion in sales in China in Q4 of 2022, it is little surprise that Apple is willing to aid and abet Beijing’s authoritarian rule and anti-democratic crackdowns. Apple’s product sales in China make it the company’s second-largest market outside of the United States–a level of dependence that threatens the security of the company’s supply chain and gravely increases its risk exposure to CCP demands. Though Apple will shift some of its production to India and Vietnam, this decision clearly was prompted by protest-related turmoil and COVID-19 restrictions, not ethical introspection and a commitment to disentangle itself from the CCP. Its aggressive lobbying against the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act and legislation to protect our national security should provide a cautionary tale for American corporations contemplating business in China.
Number of US based Employees: 80,000
Number of China Based Employees: 300,000 (contracted through Foxconn)
Number of Employees worldwide: 164,000
Total Annual Revenue: $394.23 Billion
Total Revenue from “Greater China”: $72.56 Billion
Fortune 500 Ranking: 8
Key People: Tim Cook (CEO), Isabel Ge Mahe (VP and Managing Director of Greater China)
Annual DC Lobbying Spend: $5.07 Million
Political Contributions: $2.377 Million
Apple and China – In The News:
Bloomberg: China’s iPhone Ban Accelerates Across Government and State Firms
The Guardian: Apple Under Fire Over Cancellation of Jon Stewart Show Amid China Concerns
New York Post: Tim Cook Touts Apple’s ‘Symbiotic Relationship’ with China during Overseas Visit
Volkswagen, the German automobile giant, continues to operate in Xinjiang despite widely documented human rights violations and the CCP’s ongoing genocide against Uyghur Muslims. Such action does not just demonstrate a willingness to indulge forced labor practices and a care for profit over persons. Volkswagen’s refusal to disengage from the region and condemn the CCP’s war on Uyghurs is a de facto endorsement of Beijing’s genocidal acts. These behaviors are antithetical to American values and foundational human rights.
In 1985, VW entered a partnership with Chinese car company SAIC and set up a joint venture plant in Urumqi, despite the region’s dark history of forced labor under China’s laogai system. According to open-source intelligence from the Xinjiang Data Project, the company’s plant is centrally located in proximity to four concentration camps where Uyghurs are subjected to forced labor and “re-education.” Approximately 30 percent of the Urumqi plant’s workforce comprises Uyghurs.
Volkswagen’s operations in Xinjiang have come under increased scrutiny in 2023. Reports have highlighted the company’s potential involvement in human rights abuses, particularly concerning forced labor. While Volkswagen has not been directly implicated, the broader concerns about forced labor in China’s EV supply chains have raised questions about the company’s ethical business practices in the region. Additionally, on the national security front, Volkswagen has been closely monitoring the situation on raw materials markets after China announced it would control exports of certain metals, highlighting potential supply chain and national security concerns for the company in China.
CEO Herbert Diess has been evasive about China’s ongoing genocide, claiming he was unaware of the situation and even stating that Volkswagen’s presence in Xinjiang “leads to the situation improving for people.” VW also continues to deny any use of forced labor in its factory despite mounting evidence and international scrutiny. Meanwhile, the CCP-aligned Global Times has applauded the company for its “great courage” resisting pressure to shut down its operation. Volkwagen’s disavowals are reprehensible and run counter to basic ethical business practices.
As a company with a shameful history of using slave labor during the Holocaust and World War II, Volkswagen should have applied the highest standards of scrutiny to its business operations in China. Instead, VW demonstrates a remarkable indifference to human rights standards.
Number of US based Employees: 6,000
Number of China Based Employees: 100,000
Number of Employees worldwide: 675,000
Annual Revenue: $293.8 Billion
Fortune 500 Ranking: 15
Key People: Oliver Blume (Chairman of Board of Management), Ralf Brandstatter (Member of the Management Board for China)
Annual DC Lobbying Spend: $1.461 Million
Political Contributions: $53,608
Volkswagen and China – In The News:
Reuters: Senior Staff at Auditing Firm Distance Themselves from Audit of VW’s China Plant
Reuters: Volkswagen Shareholders Demand More Scrutiny After Xinjiang Audit
New York Times: Why Volkswagen is Hiring 3,000 Engineers in China
Airbus has earned much criticism for forging close ties with Beijing’s military-industrial complex and PLA-affiliated companies. Despite repeated warnings, the France-based plane-maker continues to advance cooperation agreements, technology sharing and manufacturing deals with AVIC, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, China Mobile, and other state-owned entities. Airbus has advanced technology sharing and manufacturing agreements with entities linked to China’s state-run military apparatus.
The company has perfected its localization strategy in China since entering the market in mid-1980s, choosing Tianjin for its only non-European final assembly line for wide-body A330s. Furthermore, Airbus hold a 5% share of AviChina, the Hong Kong-listed arm of AVIC. Several AVIC subsidiaries were designated as “military end users” in 2020 by the U.S. Commerce Department. All of Airbus’ A320 wings assembled in Tianjin are manufactured by AVIC subsidiary Xian Aircraft Company (XAC), which also produces the Y-20 military transport aircraft used by the Chinese military. These actions endanger U.S. national security by exposing our sensitive technologies, increasing IP theft risks, creating new dependencies in our defense industrial base, and normalizing such behavior for other aerospace leaders.
The CCP is on the march with its “civil-military” fusion strategy, requiring aerospace companies to comply with decrees by the Chinese military and intelligence apparatus. But that has not deterred Airbus from deepening its engagement and overtaking its competitors in the Chinese market. To leave no illusion of its priorities, Airbus has even picked George Xu–a CCP member who personally led Tianjin’s Communist Youth League–as its chief executive in China. Xu has already stated he hopes to increase cooperation with Beijing in “big data, artificial intelligence and new energy.”
Airbus is handing the playbook for modern aviation to the PLA, having agreed to sell China almost 200 new passenger jets, build an assembly plant near Tianjin, and supply dozens of multirole helicopters. While Airbus claims these items have innocent purposes, it is not difficult to envision China converting these assets to strategic airlifts and platforms to attack our allies in Taipei–and even American submarines and sailors.
These sales aid and abet the CCP’s full-court press against American security interests. Airbus and its shareholders will pay a price for prioritizing short-term financial gains, enabling the PLA’s power projection, and undermining the free world.
Number of US based Employees: 3,200
Number of China Based Employees: 1,900
Number of Employees worldwide: 134,267
Annual Revenue: $61.805 (in Billions)
Fortune 500 Ranking: 219
Key People: Guillaume Faury (CEO), Alberto Gutierrez (COO)
Annual DC Lobbying Spend: $1.66 (in millions)
Political Contributions: $217,013
AirBus and China – In The News:
Bloomberg: Airbus Presses Chinese Airlines to Order Planes as Widebody Slots Fill Up
Airbus: Airbus and China aviation industry sign next phase in partnership
New York Times: Airbus to Double Production in China as It Moves Ahead With New Orders. The France-based plane maker announced the agreement despite pressure on Europe from the Biden administration to isolate Beijing.
#1: McKinsey & Co.
McKinsey is the world’s largest management consulting firm and has been entrusted with advising the highest levels of the U.S. government, serving as a partner of choice for the Defense Department and multiple federal agencies. However, the firm has betrayed U.S. confidence by conducting extensive partnerships with CCP-affiliated and state-owned entities. McKinsey’s advisory work for Chinese clients imperils our national security by informing PLA planning, improving Beijing’s global economic dominance, and exposing sensitive materials to potential breaches.
Upon review, McKinsey’s business dealings in China show clear evidence of institutional conflicts of interest and strong firm ties to the CCP. Despite telling Sen. Marco Rubio that the firm had no such ties, a court document dated September 2020 later acknowledged a commercial connection to the Chinese government. As if the firm was attempting to further disqualify itself from our federal contracts, McKinsey then issued assurances that these client services only served local and provincial Chinese governments–known to be embedded with CCP officials–and not the Beijing government itself.
It gets worse. The firm has also admitted to ties to Shenzhen Dajiang Baiwang Technology Co., a manufacturing facility owned by a Chinese drone maker that has supported biometric surveillance against Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang and is on a Treasury Department blacklist. McKinsey has also failed to acknowledge other “client connections,” including the China Construction Bank, China Resources Holdings Company Limited, and other firms with close ties to the CCP.
Given the manner in which the firm has benefited from privileged access to sensitive U.S. military planning, intelligence, and high-tech weapons programs, McKinsey has earned special scorn for supporting the CCP. Beijing’s avowed “military-civil fusion” strategy all but assures McKinsey’s work has contributed to the PLA’s naval buildup and China’s military campaigns. It should never be allowed to receive American consulting contracts again.
Number of Employees worldwide: 38,000
Annual Revenue: $12.5 (in billions)
Key People: Bob Sternfels (CEO), Gautam Kumra (Senior Partner, Asia) Joe Ngai (Senior Partner, Greater China)
Annual DC Lobbying Spend: $520,000
Political Contributions: $608,654
McKinsey and China – In The News:
NBC News: McKinsey Worked with Chinese Government Despite Assurances to U.S. Senator, Document Indicates
South China Morning Post: ‘The next China is China’ for foreign investors, claims McKinsey & Company’s Greater China CEO
NBC News: Advising Both Chinese State Companies and the Pentagon, McKinsey & Co. Comes Under Scrutiny