Politics

Cotton, Colleagues Call for Increased Oversight of Chinese Economic Aggression After Proposed Forbes Acquisition

Washington, D.C. — Senators Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas), Bill Cassidy (R-Louisiana), Bill Hagerty (R-Tennessee), and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) today sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen raising concerns about the proposed acquisition of Forbes by an entity linked to the Chinese Communist Party.

In part, the senators wrote, “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. 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. We urge you to take the necessary steps to thoroughly review the circumstances and potential consequences of this deal.”

Text of the letter may be found here and below.


The Honorable Janet Yellen

Secretary

U.S. Department of the Treasury

1500 Pennsylvania Avenue NW

Washington, DC 20220

Dear Secretary Yellen:

We are writing regarding the proposed acquisition of Forbes by a Chinese Communist Party-linked entity.

In August 2021, Forbes Global Media Holdings (Forbes) announced a proposed acquisition by Magnum Opus Acquisition Limited (Magnum Opus), a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) controlled by the Chinese Communist Party. In your role as chair of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), we urge you to investigate the circumstances and national security implications of this proposed acquisition.

China’s deliberately vague patchwork of intelligence, national security, and cybersecurity laws 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). 

The CCP’s intent to wield the Forbes brand for its own purposes is clear. The purchasing entity’s April 8, 2022 proxy statement admits that, if this deal is allowed to proceed, Forbes “could be subject to oversight and discretion of PRC 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.” 

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. 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. We urge you to take the necessary steps to thoroughly review the circumstances and potential consequences of this deal.

Thank you for your attention to this important matter of national security.

Back to top button