BlackRock sells US interests for ‘personal favours’ in China, says consumer group director

BlackRock, the world’s largest investment manager overseeing $10 trillion in client funds, has positioned itself as a socially responsible company. However, the company is choosing China over the United States as it advances its environmental and social priorities, according to Will Hild, executive director of the Washginton-based nonprofit Consumers’ Research.

Hild said BlackRock CEO Larry Fink was “selling the interests of American consumers and American businesses in the United States, in exchange for personal favors for BlackRock in mainland China,” during a recent interview with the program ” China Insider” from EpochTV.

Fink has been one of the most prominent advocates of ESG investing, which invests in companies that agree to meet certain environmental, social and governance standards.

However, according to Fink, ESG “is an excuse for Wall Street to push politics into corporate America.” In other words, Wall Street is pushing ESG policies that “could never be achieved at the ballot box,” he added.

Additionally, BlackRock has also taken the position of supporting a net-zero emissions future. The company’s website tells its customers that “climate transition creates a historic investment opportunity”. In a 2020 letter to CEOs, Fink wrote that “climate risk is investment risk”.

While BlackRock has pushed U.S. companies such as ExxonMobil to embrace green power, it hasn’t taken the same approach with Chinese companies, according to Hild.

“Ironically, Blackrock controls roughly the same amount of shares, about 7.5%, of PetroChina as Exxon, but they don’t adopt any of the same behaviors towards that company,” he said. he declares. said, like pushing Chinese companies to adopt net-zero policies.

PetroChina is the listed subsidiary of China’s state-owned China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC). In February, the Russian state energy company Gazprom signed a 30-year contract with CNPCpaving the way for natural gas from Russia to China via a new pipeline linking the Russian Far East to northeast China.

“I think if they did, Larry Fink would find himself very quickly unwelcome in mainland China because we know how this government acts,” Hild continued.

Will Hild, executive director of Consumers’ Research, speaks with NTD in March 2022. (NTD News)

Hild said BlackRock’s excuse for not pushing Chinese companies is “so absurd”.

“The excuse they use is that China is still a developing economy, so we can’t impose the same rules on them,” Hild explained.

In 2021, Black Rock on the side of the hedge fund company Engine No. 1, which replaced new directors on the board of directors of ExxonMobil, believing that the oil giant had reacted too weakly to the climate crisis. Quoting a Wall Street Journal reportHild said the board later considered divesting itself of two oil and gas projects in Mozambique and Vietnam.

Hild argued that the projects would have “served American consumers at the pumps so that prices could have been lowered.”

“In fact, BlackRock and Larry Fink are using America as China’s carbon offset. They don’t pressure China to decarbonize,” he said.

“And so they put American companies on a level playing field here in the United States, against their rivals in China,” he continued. “And they’re using US investment dollars to do it.”

According to Hild, one of the favors BlackRock got from the Chinese regime was getting the right to start the first fully foreign-owned mutual fund business in China.

In August 2011, BlackRock Fund Management Co. Ltd, BlackRock’s China business, launched a mutual fund product in China, making it the first mutual fund offering by a wholly foreign company, according to Chinese state media.

Many state governments in the United States have invested their pension funds with BlackRock. According to a 2021 report (pdf) from Consumers’ Research, Washington, Florida and New York were the top three investors, investing $13.8 billion, $10.7 billion and $9.8 billion respectively,

The report also warned against BlackRock placing investors’ money in Chinese companies with ties to the Chinese military, such as China’s biggest chipmaker SMIC.

“BlackRock’s investment choices not only jeopardize the security of American retirements, but the security of our nation as a whole,” according to the report.

As the United States faces record inflation, Hild believes BlackRock’s investment decisions, which help industrialize China while deindustrializing the United States, are not benefiting retirees.

“It will hurt their returns as retirees. And it’s going to hurt them at the gas pump, the grocery store, and all the other places they spend money,” he said.

The Epoch Times has reached out to BlackRock for comment.

Frank Croc

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Frank Fang is a Taiwan-based journalist. He covers news from the United States, China and Taiwan. He holds a master’s degree in materials science from Tsinghua University in Taiwan.

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