A US travel ban would bar China’s top entrepreneurs

A US travel ban would bar China's top entrepreneurs
The potential travel ban will hurt China's top entrepreneurs like Jack Ma. Source: Getty Images
3 Min Read

Daily US Times: It has been reported that the Trump administration is considering a ban on travel to the United States by all members of the Chinese Communist Party and their families. If the decision is executed, that could have major consequences for China’s top entrepreneurs and wealthiest business leaders.

The New York Times first reported the existence of the draft of the order. The Times cited four anonymous sources — has not been made public, and reported that it could still be rejected by President Donald Trump.

Reuters news agency confirmed details of the Times article, citing an anonymous source.

Such restrictions would be massive, potentially affecting the more than 90 million party members and their families, especially China’s top entrepreneurs.

They include many members of China’s corporate elite class, who would be unable to go to America to do business. Dalian Wanda Group founder Wang Jianlin, Alibaba (BABA) founder Jack Ma and BYD founder Wang Chuanfu are all members of the Communist Party. Ma, who according to Bloomberg has a net worth of nearly $50 billion, was famously outed as a communist nearly two years ago by the People’s Daily, the ruling party’s official newspaper.

China’s Dalian Wanda owns the world’s biggest movie theater chain, AMC (AMC). BYD is one of the Asian giant’s leading electric carmakers, and boasts Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway (BRKA) among its major shareholders.

Willy Lam, an adjunct professor at the Center for China Studies at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, said: “China’s rich and powerful are almost all party members,” adding that people with money or influence are more likely to join the party.

A travel ban could force to huge problem for many more top CEOs in China, depending on how wide the net is cast. Executives often have links to the government, even though they haven’t been identified as card-carrying party members. Xiaomi chairman Lei Jun and Tencent (TCEHY) founder Pony Ma, for example, are both members of the National People’s Congress (NPC), the country’s top legislative body. And Robin Li, Baidu (BIDU) founder, is a member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), a top political advisory body.

In China, there are more than 30 million private companies. According to a government survey published last year, of 8,000 entrepreneurs in China, more than half said they were members of the Chinese Communist Party. A quarter of the total respondents of that survey were members of the NPC, while roughly a third were members of the CPPCC.

You may read: Why biggest US tech companies are investing billions in India