Dec 27, 2023 - Business

Mapped: U.S. public pensions have a lot of investments in China

Public pensions' PE/VC investments in China and Hong Kong
Note: Dark green category includes states where at least one public pension whose PE/VC investments in China/Hong Kong make up more than 2% of its total AUM; Data: Future Union; Map: Jared Whalen/Axios

U.S. public pensions have invested more than $68 billion into private Chinese entities over the past three years, ending June 30, according to data from pro-democracy trade advocacy group Future Union.

Why it matters: The Biden administration in August implemented narrow restrictions on American investment in Chinese tech companies, but some elected officials are pushing for more.

By the numbers: 42 states have at least one public pension that has made PE/VC investments in mainland China or Hong Kong.

  • 17 states have at least one public pension with at least 2% of its assets under management invested in China-based private companies or private investment funds (e.g., venture capital and private equity), per Future Union's analysis.

What we're watching: The House Select Committee, with which Future Union says it's sharing data, recently issued a report that concludes that China's economic system is "incompatible with the WTO."

  • Among other policy recommendations, it argues for an end to U.S. private equity investments in China, along with disclosures of existing investments and quick divestments that would get the capital redirected to U.S. businesses.

Methodology: The report included public pensions with at least $3 billion in AUM.

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