Who runs Harves Group? Hunter Biden invested in Chinese firm linked to Chinese govt
A new report indicates Hunter Biden invested in a Chinese company, whose executive has ties to high-ranking members of the Chinese Communist Party. More worryingly, it is believed Hunter was introduced to the firm by an old advisor of Joe Biden when the now-President was a Senator. The revelations could add to the already mounting pressure on Hunter, whom the Republicans have promised to investigate if they take back the House and Senate in 2022.
This isn't the first time Hunter has been tied to China. In November 2021, we reported that the president's son received an $8000,000 diamond from Ye Jianming, the former chairman of a Chinese energy company that was closely associated with the government. Earlier in May, leaked emails revealed Hunter frequently flirted with JiaQi Bao, a secretary assigned to him who also briefly worked with the Chinese government. In April, it was revealed Hunter still had a 10% stake in Bohai Harvest RST, a Chinese equity firm despite promising to divest to prevent a conflict of interest while Joe Biden was president.
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It's unclear if Hunter still has a stake in the firm, but it appears he has plenty of other connections to China. On January 20, Fox Business released emails showing Hunter owned a stake in two companies run by the Harves Century Group, which like most companies in China has close ties to the Communist Party.
Who runs Harves Century Group?
According to the company's website, the chair of the company is Jenglan Shao. Almost no information exists for Shao outside of the company's website, and little more is known about the firm itself. Fox reported that the firm is backed by the state-owned China Development Bank and is the parent company to multiple US-based firms including Harves Global Entertainment, and Harves Sports. In November 2020, the firm also partnered with NBA China to grow the NBA's presence in the country.
It's unclear if Shao is an American citizen, but she does have some ties to the US. Apart from running a company that is present in the country, the Federal Election Commission (FEC) website shows she donated $2,700 twice via the company to Francis Person in 2016. That year, Person ran a failed campaign for Congress from South Carolina to challenge incumbent Mick Mulvaney. Interestingly, Person is the former aide to then-Senator Joe Biden, who introduced Hunter to the firm.
According to the emails, Person invited Hunter in July 2015 to meet with Bo Zhang, who is the son of Shao. "Bo Zhang and his family would host us. They are a great family with great respect and relationships in China," Person wrote, adding, "They are very private, and wouldn’t tell anyone about you coming. Bo's father-in-law is actually the Governor of Hainan (Chinese Hawaii), which he doesn’t advertise at all."
Links to the Chinese Communist Party
Person added that Zhang was being "groomed to take over the family's dynasty" and that "there will be plenty of big things that come down the road that we can work on." Emails show Hunter and longtime business partner Eric Schwerin met with Zhang "in Washington on multiple occasions" and constantly stayed in touch. In one email, Hunter even called Zhang a "good friend and business colleague." The association is all the more worrying given Zhang's father-in-law, Liu Cigui's prominence in the CCP. He's reportedly been a member of the CCP Central Committee since 2012, and a key member of a group within the party tasked with investigating corruption.
It's unclear if Joe Biden was aware of Person's links to Zhang at the time, but it appears unlikely. According to his LinkedIn page, Person stopped working for Biden in July 2014, when he was Vice President. In January 2015, he formally joined the Harves Group as its President, before becoming the co-founder of Harves Global Entertainment in May 2018. The timeline of the emails also appears to indicate Person reached out to Hunter only after leaving Biden's team, so the President could be off the hook.
However, Hunter could be in more trouble. As of March 2017, he had a 5% stake in Harves Amusement Parks and ownership in Harves Sports and Entertainment. It's unclear if he gave those up since Biden became president. If not, it could be immensely problematic given Zhang's close ties to the CCP, and something the GOP would certainly love to investigate.