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.