WASHINGTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–United Food and Commercial Workers International Union calls on public pension funds invested in KKR Asian Fund III to divest of Cue Group, a Chinese artificial intelligence company that collaborated with an arm of the Ministry of Public Security, the organ that oversees the surveillance system in China.
“We believe it is fundamentally wrong for public employees’ retirement to fund any collaboration with China’s repressive surveillance state,” says David Young, International Vice President of UFCW, in letters delivered to state pension funds in Oregon and Florida, among others.
A new website called KKRChinaExposed.com and prepared by UFCW documents how Cue jointly developed surveillance technology in 2020 with a government lab run by China’s First Research Institute of the Ministry of Public Security.
The website also documents the ownership of Cue, Cue’s technology, and details about the First Research Institute’s role in China’s surveillance apparatus.
A February investigation published by The Wire China obtained confirmation from the Chinese government lab of Cue’s collaboration, while KKR and Cue denied it and removed website references to it.
The Wire China quoted a corporate ethics expert saying: “If a private equity firm’s portfolio company works with China’s surveillance apparatus, he says, ‘It could hardly be a more direct line between their investment and human rights violations.’”
Cue is a portfolio company of KKR Asian Fund III, which is managed by KKR & Co. [NYSE: KKR].
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