From Chinese Censorship to Putin’s Regime, ND’s Legacy Fund Makes Objectionable Investments

North Dakota legislators discuss the process of allocating North Dakota oil taxes to state "savings accounts" including the Legacy Fund and Common Schools Trust Fund. Nick Broadway/ WDAY

MINOT, N.D. — Are the members of North Dakota’s State Investment Board paying attention to how their money managers are investing North Dakota dollars?

If they are, shame on them, because those dollars are invested in some deeply troubling ways.

If they aren’t, well, shame on them again.

Tencent is an internet behemoth based in China. For Americans, it’s most well-known product is probably the instant messaging platform WeChat.

In May, CNBC reported that Tencent has been using data collected from its global users to help China’s communist government censor internet communications. That same month, U.S. senators called for a ban on the company, calling it an espionage operation. “Anyone concerned about human rights, electoral interference by foreign powers, or privacy violations by tech giants should divest from the company, including retirement funds,” Freedom House researcher Sarah Cook wrote last year.

North Dakota’s Legacy Fund has invested over $27 million in the company according to a disclosure of foreign investments made by the State Investment Board in response to an open records request.

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Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and host of the Plain Talk Podcast which you can subscribe to by clicking here.

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