Congress Must Act After New Evidence Outlines Direct Links Between BYD and China’s Military

Washington, D.C. – As new research uncovers direct links between Build Your Dreams (BYD) and China’s government, military, communist party, and Chinese telecom giant Huawei, Congress must move ahead with legislation to ensure taxpayer dollars do not subsidize China’s plans to dominate the battery electric vehicle industry and threaten our national security.

BYD likes to promote itself as a privately-owned company, but the new Radarlock report makes it clear that simply isn’t the case. Researchers uncovered deep personal ties between BYD’s leadership and China’s state apparatus — including the military — along with significant state subsidies and other support.

Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) President Scott Paul said:

BYD has engaged in a classic case of red, white and blue washing, portraying itself as your friendly neighborhood bus and auto maker, while it is actually more like an extension of the Chinese state. China’s goal is to dominate the electric vehicle industry, and it has given BYD every tool it can to do so, including massive subsidies and help from its military.

Using U.S. taxpayer dollars to fund China’s global ambitions is a critical mistake, and one that threatens our national and economic security. BYD’s defenders on Capitol Hill have a lot of explaining to do.

In the report, “Building the China Dream: BYD & China’s Grand Strategic Offensive,” researchers Nate Picarsic and Emily Bruyere outline how BYD is a key part of the government’s “Made in China 2025” and “China Standards 2035” plans. Specific findings include:

  • BYD has received billions upon billions of dollars in subsidies from China’s government, far exceeding what it has acknowledged publicly;
  • BYD leadership maintains direct personal ties to China’s government, including founder Wang Chuanfu, who has held a number of official communist party posts, and Wang Zi-dong, who serves as “independent non-executive director” of BYD and also directs research at an institute that is part of Norinco Group, the state-owned defense conglomerate;
  • BYD and now-banned Huawei signed a “comprehensive strategic cooperation agreement” in March 2019, solidifying a long-standing, “inseparable” partnership between the two firms;
  • BYD uses its status as a “private company” to acquire foreign technology, data, and markets, which it then hands off to China’s state-owned and military enterprises;
  • BYD’s research and development centers are “incubated” at military-affiliated zones that focus on technology transfer;
  • BYD’s battery technology is part of the next “Made in China 2025” plan.

Legislation passed by the Senate as part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) would ban BYD and other Chinese state-owned, controlled or subsidized companies from receiving taxpayer money to build U.S. buses and rail cars. However, the House version of the bill only applies to rail cars, meaning BYD would continue to be able to use U.S. taxpayer money to penetrate the U.S. transit procurement market. The legislation is now in conference.

Added AAM President Scott Paul:

There are hundreds of thousands of good-paying jobs in the transportation supply chain, and all are at risk because of China’s predatory practices.

The Senate was right to move to ban companies like BYD from receiving federal funds to build buses and rail cars for U.S. cities. This is the version of the bill that Congress must ultimately pass.

BYD’s ties to China’s government and the threat it poses are also examined in a new digital video AAM released Thursday on its website and social media channels.