By Alexa Schwerha
January 10, 2023
The University of California (UC) system has invested millions of dollars in companies that are linked to the ongoing Uighur genocide, an analysis of its endowments revealed.
The university system recently invested tens of millions of dollars in Alibaba and MSCI China, companies which have reportedly been complicit in the crimes against humanity ongoing against the Uighur Muslim people, according to its General Endowment Pool (GEP) holdings disclosed through June 2022. Several countries and hundreds of human rights organizations declared China committed human rights abuses against the Uighurs, including imprisonment in detention camps, mandating forced labor, the mass arrest of Uighur men, forced sterilization and requiring Uighurs to house Chinese Communist Party officials. (RELATED: Western Companies Are Happy To Cut Ties With Russia, But Stay Silent On Uyghur Genocide)
UC invested $14,997,234 into Alibaba, a company responsible for software which could use facial recognition to identify Uighur people, according to a 2020 report by industry watchdog IPVM. UC invested an additional $37,571,922 into Alibaba through pensions reported through June 30, 2022.
The U.S. Department of Commerce imposed trade restrictions on two Alibaba-funded artificial intelligence organizations, Megvii and SenseTime, in 2019 because they were “contrary to the foreign policy interests of the United States,” according to the Federal Register.
Supporters and members of the East Turkistan National Awakening Movement rally outside the White House to urge the United States to end trade deals with China and take action to stop the oppression of the Uyghur and other Turkic peoples August 14, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
UC also invested $27,613,608 into MSCI China, an index made up of large- and mid-cap Chinese firms, according to its website. It invested an additional $75,821,519 through pensions.
Twelve companies from the MSCI China Index engaged in forced labor and camp and surveillance construction, according to a Hong Kong Watch and the Helena Kennedy Centre for International Justice at Sheffield Hallam University report.
“If the average Briton or American realised that hundreds of millions of pounds or billions of pounds were being invested in Chinese technology firms with close ties to the state, they would be outraged,” Johnny Patterson, an author of the report and co-founder of Hong Kong Watch, told The Guardian.
UC also invested millions of dollars into various Sequoia Capital, an American venture capital firm, through both its endowments and its pensions. Sequoia Capital reportedly funded Yitu Technology, which was on an entity list in 2020 for alleged human rights abuses, and DeepGlint, which also indulges in facial recognition technology, according to Business Standard.
U.S. companies are not permitted to do business with companies on the entity list, Business Standard reported.
UC invested $49,749,180 in Sequoia Capital through endowments and $75,093,102 through pensions, according to the documents.
UC also invested in numerous GGV Capital entities, according to its pension records. GGV Capital, which is a California-based venture firm, invested money into Megvii, BuzzFeed News reported.
The University of California system, Alibaba, MSCI, Hong Kong Watch, Sheffield Hallam University, GGV and Sequoia Capital did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.