Why Are America’s Wealthiest People Enabling Communist China?

Why Are America’s Wealthiest People Enabling Communist China?
A sign for Wall Street hangs in front of the New York Stock Exchange on July 8, 2021. (Mark Lennihan/AP Photo)
John Mac Ghlionn

If you happen to be a businessperson, and you happen to be an American citizen, and you find yourself close to investing in China, you might want to think again.

That’s the opinion of Jeffrey Gundlach, an investor and businessman who founded DoubleLine Capital LP, a highly reputable investment firm. In an interview with Yahoo Finance, the New Yorker, who's worth somewhere in the region of $2.2 billion, called China “uninvestable.”

Asked if he has ever invested in the communist nation, Gundlach responded, “never.” Why? He doesn’t “trust the data,” nor does he “trust the relationship between the United States and China anymore.” And for good reason. Relations between Washington and Beijing are at an all-time low. Gundlach believes that “investments in China could be confiscated.”

Wise words.

Too bad, then, that so many of America’s wealthiest and most influential businesspeople choose to ignore them. For years—and in some cases, decades—they have pumped, and continue to pump, hundreds of millions of dollars into a country that poses an existential threat to the United States.
Last month, Reuters delivered an early Christmas gift in the form of a bombshell report. The juggernaut known as Amazon had, for a number of years, worked closely with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). As the world’s largest online retailer, Amazon agreed to sell “a collection of President Xi Jinping's speeches and writings on its Chinese website.”
The multinational e-commerce giant, according to Reuters, stopped any negative reviews of Xi’s material from being registered. Additionally, no ratings under five stars were permitted. As anyone who has used Amazon knows, ratings and reviews play a major role in shaping one’s opinion of a product. Ever since entering the country in 2004, Amazon has invested aggressively in the Chinese market, purchasing warehouses and data centers.
Should we be surprised? Not really. After all, like attracts like. Amazon is, by all accounts, a brutal place to work. According to a CNN report, “Amazon uses techniques that eerily resemble some of the tactics that Mao Zedong used during the Cultural Revolution in China.”
A Screenshot of the main page of Amazon's China Books store. (Screenshot by The Epoch Times)
A Screenshot of the main page of Amazon's China Books store. (Screenshot by The Epoch Times)
The Wall Street Journal recently published a piece on Tesla’s plans to open a new showroom in Xinjiang, a region in China where acts of genocide have occurred; in fact, there’s every reason to believe that the deliberate killing of Uyghurs is still occurring.
As the journalist Javier E. David so accurately noted, the showroom’s opening “militates against Musk’s image as an iconoclastic rule breaker who frequently tangles with U.S. elected officials on Twitter.”
Musk, America’s richest man, is a person I have discussed in great detail. In a previous piece, I asked why he's so sweet on China. Money appeared—and still appears—to be the answer. Musk has a specific cause: the accumulation of even more wealth, even if it means building showrooms in a communist state overseen by a murderous regime. Musk, I suggest, is no American hero. A true hero would extricate himself from the CCP’s deathly grip rather than embrace it even more.
As the aforementioned David warns, “While China is a huge part of Tesla’s success, it also has the potential to inflict reputational damage on its brand as international furor toward Beijing grows more acute.”

Moreover, Musk’s willingness to embrace the CCP also exposes a painfully obvious contradiction: as companies like Tesla and Nike (another American juggernaut that seems oblivious to the immorality of the CCP) continue to speak out against perceived abuses at home, they continue to invest more money in China, a country with arguably the worst human rights record on the planet.

Of course, the likes of Musk is not alone; he's not the only one who appears to be guided by greed rather than a conscience. Since 2015, the year Sundar Pichai became Google’s CEO, he has greenlit a number of investments in various Chinese companies; he has also met with some of the country’s most influential leaders and helped China develop its artificial intelligence capabilities.

Which brings us back to Gundlach’s warnings. Sadly, similar warnings have been issued for years. In the United States, very few people in positions of genuine power appear to have heeded them.

Perhaps the most disturbing thing is this: the very people ignoring them are only too eager to take cheap shots at the United States. By doing this, they simultaneously bolster China’s standing and weaken America’s. Arguably, this is more distasteful than the actual investments. With some of America's wealthiest people, hypocrisy appears to know no bounds.

Views expressed in this article are opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.
John Mac Ghlionn is a researcher and essayist. He covers psychology and social relations, and has a keen interest in social dysfunction and media manipulation. His work has been published by the New York Post, The Sydney Morning Herald, Newsweek, National Review, and The Spectator US, among others.
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