Alex Lasry is a Democrat running for Senate in Wisconsin who has dumped his shares of stock in two Chinese tech companies as he has adopted a public stance of being tough on the Chinese regime. However, he is unwilling to state whether he has unloaded his interests in other corporations connected to the Chinese use of slave labor.
Lasry’s most recent financial disclosure forms filed last August indicated he owned between $100,000 and $200,000 stakes in two companies accused of aiding the Chinese military, Tencent and Alibaba.
Lasry sold his interests in Tencent and Alibaba as Republicans began to allege that he and his family profit from doing business with the Chinese Communist Party. Those sales came when he pivoted his political approach to “tough-talking” against China. His campaign launched a $1 million advertising effort featuring his promise to “stand up to” the Chinese.
However, he also reported continuing investments in Inditex and Seagate Technology, both of which have been alleged to profit off of slave labor practices in the Chinese province of Xinjiang. He is also invested in Chindata, a firm involved in China’s Belt and Road Initiative. That global program has been identified as a risk to American national security.
A Lasry campaign spokesperson was quick to confirm Lasry had liquidated his Tencent and Alibaba stocks months back but refused to answer regarding his ownership stakes in Chindata, Inditex, and Seagate.
The candidate has been battling negative perceptions of his stance on China since he announced his Senate run last year. His father, Marc Lasry, is a billionaire hedge fund manager who has promoted investment in communist China for many years. Last year he told a forum of investors that China’s economy is growing “through the roof.”
Critics have also pointed to Lasry’s job as senior vice president of the Milwaukee Bucks, an NBA team owned by his father, because of the league’s extensive financial involvement with China. Jewish Insider said that Lasry was “somewhat reticent” to discuss the NBA’s relationship with the Chinese government and “seemed eager to sidestep the matter” during a recent interview.
Lasry is challenging Republican incumbent Senator Ron Johnson in this year’s Wisconsin race and faces competition from several Democrats in the primary contest to challenge Johnson.