Among the multiple controversies surrounding Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s latest campaign is his son’s shady track record of international business dealings.
The latest wrinkle in that narrative surfaced this week with the report that Hunter Biden has a financial investment in a Chinese company currently subjected to sanctions by the U.S. government, as reported by the Washington Free Beacon.
“Rampant abuse of the human rights”
Reports on Wednesday revealed that he owns a stake of Bohai Harvest RST Shanghai Equity, which in turn holds a stake in Chinese tech firm Megvii. Biden stepped down from his role on that company’s board earlier this year but continues to hold a 10% stake through a limited liability corporation called Skaneateles LLC.
Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia David Ranz denounced the “rampant abuse of the human rights and religious freedoms of Uyghurs, ethnic Kazakhs, and other Muslim minorities in Xinjiang” in a statement last year.
While Megvii denies any role in such ethnic oppression, the State Department added it to a list of organizations accused of “enabling activities contrary to the foreign policy interests of the United States.”
Despite that designation, American citizens are not prohibited from investing in Megvii.
“You’re profiting off the suffering”
Some activists, including World Uyghur Congress project coordinator Ryan Barry, want to convince individuals that such investments contribute to human rights abuses in China.
“If you invest in these companies, you’re profiting off the suffering of the Uyghur people,” he said. “It’s unethical to do this.”
Peter Irwin of the Uyghur Human Rights Project echoed those sentiments, affirming that “Chinese surveillance companies have been totally enabling the Chinese government to do what it’s doing.”
He went on to say that “Megvii and these facial recognition companies” are used to “analyze the data and they spit out some sort of algorithm” leading authorities to detain certain individuals.
Of course, this is not the first time Hunter Biden has brought unwelcome attention to his father’s campaign. As Election Day draws nearer, however, these mounting scandals could prove decisive for many voters.