Senate

Senators express alarm over China-linked bid to purchase Forbes

Sen. Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.) questions Attorney General Merrick Garland regarding the investigation of Hunter Biden’s laptop during a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies hearing to discuss the fiscal year 2023 budget of the Department of Justice at the Capitol in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, April 26, 2022.
Greg Nash
Sen. Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.) questions Attorney General Merrick Garland regarding the investigation of Hunter Biden’s laptop during a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies hearing to discuss the fiscal year 2023 budget of the Department of Justice at the Capitol in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, April 26, 2022.

A group of GOP senators on Thursday sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to express their concern about the proposed acquisition of Forbes by an entity they say is linked to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

In the letter, the senators urged Yellen to investigate Hong Kong-based Magnum Opus Acquisition Limited’s acquisition of the company, citing China’s “deliberately vague patchwork of intelligence, national security, and cybersecurity laws” that they said “compel companies to support and cooperate with the government’s intelligence work.” 

“Not only is Magnum Opus domiciled within the jurisdiction of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), but the seed money for Magnum Opus came directly from China’s sovereign wealth fund, the Chinese Investment Corporation (CIC),” they wrote.

The senators alleged that the CCP has a “clear” intent to “wield the Forbes brand” and quoted a proxy statement from Magnum Opus saying if it acquires the company, Forbes could be subject “to oversight and discretion of [People’s Republic of China] governmental authorities, which could seek to intervene or influence its business operations at any time that the government deems appropriate to further their regulatory, political, and societal goals.”  

The letter was signed by Sen. Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Sens. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas.). 

“Forbes is a recognizable American brand with immense propaganda value to the CCP. Additionally, the CCP’s direction of Forbes’ editorial content and business operations, or its access to Forbes’ financial and personal research, could present a serious national security threat to the United States,” the senators wrote in their letter. 

“As members of the Intelligence, Judiciary, Banking, and Finance Committees, we view proposed transactions like this one as a compelling reason for increased oversight of the CCP’s predatory economic behavior in American markets,” the senators added. “We urge you to take the necessary steps to thoroughly review the circumstances and potential consequences of this deal.” 

Magnum Opus and Forbes announced in August that they had entered into a merger agreement, through which Forbes would become a public company. The companies said at the time that they expected the deal to close in late 2021 or early 2022.

Tags Bill Cassidy Bill Hagerty Bill Hagerty China China Chinese Communist Party Forbes Forbes Janet Yellen Janet Yellen Magnum Opus Acquistion Limited Senate Foreign Relations Committee Ted Cruz Tom Cotton Tom Cotton Treasury Department U.S.-China relations

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