The husband of one of Democrat President Joe Biden’s cabinet secretaries is a top executive in an artificial intelligence company that is backed by China’s communist government.
“Danhua Capital, based in California but established with the financial backing of the Chinese Communist Party, is one of the main funders of PathAI, an artificial intelligence firm that employs [Commerce Secretary Gina] Raimondo’s husband, Andy Moffit, as its chief people officer,” the Washington Free Beacon reported. “A venture capital firm backed by the Chinese government is a major investor in an artificial intelligence company that counts Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo’s husband as a top executive, a potential conflict of interest as her agency works to counter China on the world stage.”
Reuters reported a few years ago that Danhua Capital was part of China’s “penetration of Silicon Valley,” noting that the communist government plays a very influential role “in the smaller venture firms they back by providing a greater percentage of their funding.”
Danhua Capital, which is backed by the Zhongguancun Development Group, a state-owned enterprise funded by the Beijing municipal government, has holdings in some of the most sensitive technology sectors.
Its investments include data management and security company Cohesity, which counts the U.S. Department of Energy and U.S. Air Force among its customers. Drone startup Flirtey, which in May was selected by the U.S. Department of Transportation to participate in projects to help the agency integrate drones safely into U.S. air space, is also part of the Danhua portfolio.
The report said that Raimondo has emerged as one of “the most pro-China voices in the administration,” noting her department provided a lifeline this year to China’s Huawei, which is reportedly tied to China’s genocide of religious minorities.
Raimondo told The Wall Street Journal in an interview back in September that she wants to increase U.S. business ties with communist China, even though she acknowledged that Chinese policies harm American companies.
The WSJ report said:
Raimondo said she plans to lead delegations of U.S. chief executives overseas, including to China, to hunt for business and discuss longstanding trade issues, though nothing has yet been put on the calendar. …
Chinese economic policies disadvantage U.S. companies by subsidizing exports at below-market prices and winking at the theft of intellectual property, Ms. Raimondo said. Even so, she said the U.S. must trade with China given the size of its market.
Matt Pottinger, who served in the Trump administration as the senior Asia adviser on the National Security Council and later as deputy national security adviser, and David Feith, who served in the Trump administration as U.S. deputy assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs, warned in a New York Times op-ed on Wednesday that China was dominating the world in the crucial domain of data.
“The Biden administration has spoken about the importance of data in our competition with China. But no visible strategy has emerged,” they wrote. “That threatens Americans’ privacy, economic competitiveness, national security and future global standing. This will be a major test of America’s China policy in 2022.”