One thing is for sure: at least some people in China still believe that Donald Trump’s name will attract large sums of money.
Trump advisor and real estate wonder boy Jared Kushner has received a good deal of scrutiny this week over possible conflicts of interest. (More than usual.) That’s because last weekend, his sister, acting on behalf of the Kushner family business, led investor events in China offering wealthy Chinese citizens U.S. visas in exchange for investing large sums of money in Kushner real estate projects in New Jersey. These EB-5 visas are available to foreigners who invest at least a half million dollars in American development projects.
The White House says that Jared Kushner has no involvement in his family’s dollars-for-visas offer in China, but it is clear that the foreign investors themselves view the Kushner company’s White House connection as a selling point. Richard Painter, a former White House ethics adviser, characterized the solicitation as “corruption, pure and simple.” The backlash has had an effect: Today, Kushner Companies announced that their representatives will not be attending the remaining investor meetings in China this month. A company rep declined our request for comment.
The investor events in Beijing and Shanghai last weekend were organized by the Kushner Companies in partnership with QWOS, a Chinese company that facilitates immigration for those in China who can afford it. Last weekend was not the first time the company has solicited such investors.
A source in China sent us several images from a QWOS investor presentation held in February—images that highlight the fact that the Trump administration is very much a presence in the marketing materials for potential EB-5 visa seekers.
To be clear, these photos are not some sort of smoking gun—there are no Kushner family members pocketing bags of money or anything—but they do show the head of QWOS, the Chinese company that has partnered with the Kushner family to funnel Chinese investor money to Kushner Companies projects, is actively touting her own connections to Trump.
A sample of what QWOS showed investors in February:
The title of the slide is “Key Strategic Makers of EB5 Projects.”
The text in the upper left corner says that Ding Ying, the president of QWOS, is routinely invited to presidential inauguration ceremonies.
The text on the blue background touting the conference says “The Age of Trump.”
This is titled, “Global Investment Opportunity Analysis Conference in the Age of Trump.”
And, lest you doubt Ding Ying’s self-proclaimed importance, here is a collage she made showing her attending Trump’s inauguration ceremonies.
This is just how things work.
Chinese translation by Isabelle Niu.