The oldest consumer advocacy group in the United States sent a letter to 10 governors denigrating BlackRock for investing state pension money in Chinese markets

BlackRock Boss Larry Fink
  • An advocacy group is calling on U.S. governors to consider what it sees as risks associated with BlackRock’s investment in Chinese companies.
  • Consumers’ Research sent a letter to 10 state governors with the most retirement money invested with BlackRock.
  • BlackRock said in a statement that it takes differing views of stakeholders on China “seriously”.

A consumer group this week blasted BlackRock on behalf of US investors for “taking their money and betting on China,” and called on some state governors to consider the risks associated with the top manager’s investment of funds to the world in the Asian superpower.

Consumers’ Research sent a letter to 10 governors who it says oversee the states with the most public pension funds invested with BlackRock, which manages around $ 10 trillion in assets. The group said that BlackRock’s “channeling billions of US capital” to China endangered US security and that it was concerned about BlackRock CEO Larry Fink’s ties to the Chinese Communist leadership.

BlackRock’s unwavering enthusiasm for Chinese markets runs counter to concerns about China’s ascending position in the world, its model of authoritarian government, and its ambitions to supplant the United States as a preeminent world power. Consumers’ Research wrote to governors, including New York Gov. Kathy Hochul and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

BlackRock said in a statement to Insider on Friday that it takes its stakeholders’ divergent views on China “seriously”.

“China and the United States have an important and interconnected economic relationship. We recognize that our stakeholders have different views on China – BlackRock takes these concerns seriously,” BlackRock said in a statement. “We seek to balance the concerns of our stakeholders with our role as a global investor and fiduciary working for our clients as we navigate this very complicated relationship between the United States and China.”

Consumers’ Research said the US-China Economic Security Review Commission convened by Congress recently recommended that the United States take more steps to reduce its economic ties with China.

“Nonetheless, BlackRock has maintained a bullish approach ‘to investing in Chinese companies,’ supporting their economy and helping fuel the rise of their military, which just a month ago tested a hypersonic missile,” said Consumers’ Research, which was established in 1929. The group said investing in Chinese companies could make American investors “unwitting accomplices” in the expansion of the country’s surveillance and intelligence gathering apparatus. CCP or make them complicit in human rights violations.

BlackRock in its response said its approach to China-related investments was in line with U.S. foreign policy.

“BlackRock is an asset management company. The assets we manage do not belong to us, they belong to our clients. Our obligation as asset manager and trustee is to manage these assets in accordance with the objectives and choices of our customers, ”he said. The company said it provides clients with “clear and current disclosure” of all material risks associated with investment products and markets to ensure they make informed investment decisions.

The asset manager also said he is committed to continuously promoting improved standards, governance and accounting transparency for all companies and countries, wherever they operate in the world. . “Our approach to China will be no different,” he said.

“As China’s financial services sector matures, a stronger regulatory and legal framework will be essential to further boost the confidence of global investors and Chinese savers,” BlackRock said.

The Consumers’ Research letter was also sent to the governors of Washington, Nevada, Nebraska, South Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Montana and West Virginia.

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