Hunter Biden wooed China execs with high-level CCP ties while fundraising for movie venture while dad was VP
FIRST ON FOX: Hunter Biden was scheduled to meet with Alibaba Group co-founder Jack Ma and other Alibaba executives in 2016 as part of a week-long China trip to find potential investors for a movie production venture Hunter and his business partners signed an agreement on, according to emails reviewed by Fox News Digital.
Among the Chinese investors that Hunter pursued were multiple Chinese business executives with high-level ties to the Chinese Communist Party.
Biden’s plunge into the movie business originated with an April 2014 introductory meeting when his business partner James “Jimmy” Bulger introduced him to George Hsieh, a pro-China lawmaker in Taiwan, according to emails from Biden’s abandoned laptop.
“I am seeing you tomorrow to introduce George Hseih to you,” Bulger, the nephew of notorious mobster Whitey Bulger, wrote on April 10, 2014.
Hseih “is a friend of michaels from Taiwan. George is a Senator over there and a rising star in the KMT Party,” Bulger added, referring to the Kuomintang, which is also known as the Chinese Nationalist Party.
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“Nice meeting you,” Biden emailed Hsieh after their meeting on April 11, 2014. “Please stay in touch.”
Later emails would reveal that Hsieh’s meeting with Bulger and Biden occurred in Washington, D.C., while Hsieh was in the U.S. through the Eisenhower Fellowship Program, and that Biden helped recommend him to a business college founded by Jack Ma.
Hsieh later left politics and became chairman of a movie company, Hualien Media International, and the now-discontinued Taiwanese newspaper, The China Post.
More than a year after their initial meeting, on Aug. 31, 2015, Bulger emailed Hunter about joining “a few movie projects” with Hsieh.
“I spoke to you briefly about a month ago regarding the oportunity [sic] to work with George Hsieh the former Taiwanese Senator. You met George at your office about a year or so ago when I brought him through,” Bulger wrote. “He comes from a wealthy family has retired from the Senate and is now putting together a few movie projects he has asked us to join him in this endeavor. … George sent me a draft Term Sheet he is willing to pay is [sic] a retainer here and let us share in the upside.”
“Let’s do it,” Biden replied.
The next day, on Sept. 1, 2015, Bulger forwarded an email from Hsieh to Biden and Rosemont Seneca Partners President Eric Schwerin describing the draft term sheet.
“Dear Jim,” Hsieh wrote in the email forwarded by Bulger. “Per our discussion, this is the preliminary draft of our structure of agreement. I am sure you will have plenty of questions and revisions to be made and we really count on your advice to make this structure more thorough and clear. We also want to have a conference call with you to explain how we can achieve our financial goal per each project by using three different revenue source stated in the draft.”
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Two weeks later, on Sept. 15, 2015, Schwerin emailed Hunter letting him know he held a phone call with Bulger and Hsieh, and that Hsieh proposed Biden and Bulger become movie producers for his company for a total of $1 million over the course of three years.
“Did a long (hour and fifteen minute) call today with Jim Bulger and George Hsieh, the Senator from Taiwan re: him wanting you and Jim to be producers of movies with him,” Schwerin wrote. “I think you know the details: he’d like to pay a $1m retainer spread out over three years starting in 2016 for your consulting help on this project and then there is profit sharing as the movies make money (most of the call today was about profit sharing).”
“Retainer is nice but at the end of the day once you split it 50/50 with Jim and spread it out over three years it amounts to about $13,500 a month. Good money but just putting in perspective,” he continued.
Schwerin said Hsieh was also pushing for Biden and Bulger to meet with potential investors in China, which didn’t appear to happen until about a year later in September 2016.
“First and major ask is that you and Jim go at some point to China and meet potential investors with George,” Schwerin said. “I put George off for awhile on this saying that given your Dad’s decision making process you can’t do any travel to China for awhile – he understood. I don’t think this piece will be vital and I have successfully punted on it for awhile.”
“First movie would be on the life of Enzo Ferrari and George is attempting to finalize the rights to the story now,” he added.
Several weeks later, on Oct. 26, 2015, Bulger and Schwerin discussed the term sheet proposed by Hsieh while Cc’ing Biden.
Bulger said they would immediately be paid a $100,000 deposit once the term sheet was agreed upon and signed.
“If it is a ‘deposit’ that might be returned if the final agreement doesn’t get executed then I don’t know that we’d want to draw down on it if we might have to return it,” Schwerin responded. “If we were going to leave it in the account I wouldn’t want to be taxed on it. We can discuss how to handle.”
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One month later, on Nov. 26, 2015, Hsieh emailed Biden wishing him and his family a happy Thanksgiving and said he hoped he could invite him to China to discuss some film opportunities.
“It’s been a long time since last year’s gathering during my Eisenhower Fellowship,” Hsieh wrote. “I also would like to sincerely appreciate for your help in remmending [sic] me into Huapan [sic] Program, which means a lot to me.”
Hsieh was referring to Hupan University in Hangzhou, which was founded by Ma in 2015. Ma stepped down in 2021 and the institute was renamed the Zhejiang Hupan Entrepreneurship Research Center. An April 2017 profile piece revealed that Hseih was the first Taiwan student to be accepted into the college. In addition to thanking Hunter in the email for recommending him for the Hupan program, he credited his “good Chinese friend Wang Xiaofei,” a pro-CCP businessman, for recommending him.
“Really hope that sometimes in the near future, I could invite you back to China, it will be great to see you again, as well as share some of my thoughts in Hollywood Industry opportunities, it’s both very fun and rewarding, and it will be our pleasure to invite you as part of the team,” Hsieh continued in the email to Hunter.
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About three months later, Bulger emailed Schwerin, Cc’ing Biden, asking if Biden would be willing to speak with Ma, Alibaba’s then-executive chairman, as part of a film about Ma’s life that would be produced by Hsieh’s company Hualien Media.
“George H over in Taiwan has been approached by a few folks who want to do a Bioepic flick on the life of Jack Ma,” Bulger wrote. “Mr Ma is aware of myself and Hunters involvement with George’s firm as Ma was expecting us to meet him down in Hanzhou last December. George thinks it might be helpful if Hunter could speak to Jack Ma of course George would arrange the call and provide the speaking notes for Hunter.”
“I told George that I think Hunter would be amenable To chatting with Jack Ma but I will ask him,” he continued. “So I am asking, would Hunter be able to speak to Jack Ma sometime in the next few week[s]?”
Alibaba, a Chinese firm that reportedly helped create surveillance technology used against Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang, is one of China’s largest technology firms that actively works to advance the interests of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
The technologies that Alibaba helped produce have also been used for government surveillance and to “re-educate” Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang, according to a congressional report in June 2020.
According to a report by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, Alibaba in 2014 entered a strategic partnership with the Xinjiang government to provide cloud computing technologies to apply in areas of policing and counterterrorism. Alibaba also reportedly funds several Chinese artificial intelligence companies blacklisted by the U.S. for human rights abuses.
Ma, a longtime CCP member, disappeared from public view for a year after he criticized China’s financial regulators in October 2020. It was announced earlier this month that he would become a visiting professor at Tokyo College in Japan.
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On March 2, 2016, Schwerin emailed Bulger, Hunter, Hsieh and others at Hualien Media saying he would send a signed agreement “by PDF and get the originals in the mail to you next week.”
Two months later, state-media outlet China Daily published a profile on Hsieh and Hualien from the China Post, which noted Hseih “moved its headquarters from Taipei to Hong Kong, and directed attention to Hollywood and the greater ethnic Chinese market.”
“I hope we can make the world see that Xinjiang could be a preferable option for shooting fantasy movies than New Zealand or Scotland,” Hsieh reportedly said during a press conference in Beijing to announce the two blockbuster co-productions. “Our goal is make films that incorporate Chinese elements, as well as reach Hollywood standards.”
That July, Schwerin sent a Chinese news article to Biden, Bulger and Rosemont Seneca’s Joan Mayer saying Hualien Media planned to shoot scenes for “Arch Alien” in Guangzhou and “World Breaker” in Beijing and “Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.”
Two months later, on Sept. 11, 2016, Mayer emailed Hunter to let him know that a meeting of Hsieh, Ma and Alibaba executives in China was rescheduled so that he could attend.
“Hunter- below is a note from George,” Mayer wrote. “They have changed the Jack Ma meeting so you can make it.”
Hsieh’s note, sent on a Sunday, said Biden was scheduled to meet with Ma that Tuesday evening in Hangzhou.
“I also notified Mr. Jack Ma’s office for his late arrival,” Hsieh’s note read. “Though please please make sure Hunter can arrive on Tuesday’s United 835 flight so we can have him meet Mr. Jack Ma around 5pm in Hangzhou.”
“This meeting took months to set up and I heard Mr. Ma had are arranged many executives of Alibaba group to attend the meetings to talk about future cooperation on both side. Hope this can work out eventually,” Hsieh wrote.
Days earlier, Schwerin sent Hunter an itinerary for the upcoming trip to China that included stops in Shanghai and Beijing. The week-long trip included several meetings with wealthy Chinese business executives. One of the business executives listed was Yuan Yafei, Chairman of Sanpower Group.
“Chairman Yuan is one of the most successful business man we are close to (worth $2+ billion), he also have a variety of business invested across the world, and maintain a good relationship with many prominent English celebrity including prince Charles,” Schwerin’s email says. “He can invest in our film as well as form a private equity funds with us.”
According to Chairman Yafei’s bio on Sanpower Group’s website and other reports, he is a longtime member of the National Committee of Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), which Fox News Digital previously reported is the “key mechanism for multi-party cooperation and political consultation” under the leadership of the CCP, according to the CPPCC website.
“Guided by Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, the CPPCC is responsible for improving democracy, enhancing unity, offering advice and suggestions on state affairs, and building consensus,” the CPPCC website reads. “Its strengths in socialist consultative democracy place it in a unique position to render support to the work of the CPC and the government.”
Another business executive listed on the itinerary for “Afternoon tea” was “Jeffery Lee, Chairman of GL Capital.” While the email misspells his name, Fox News Digital discovered that he is the son of one of the most powerful CCP leaders in China.
“The main investment direction of GL Capital Group is the growth period enterprises of Greater China Region, Mr. Lee shall be a very appropriate collaborative object in future, he can invest in our film projects and private equity funds,” Schwerin’s email says.
Multiple reports say “Jeffrey Li,” who previously worked for the wealthy Democratic Pritzker family for over a decade as an “adviser and manager,” is the son of former Politburo standing committee member Li Ruihuan, who has been a member of the CCP since 1959.
According to China Vitae, which is operated by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Ruihuan has served in over a dozen leadership roles in some of the highest echelons of the CCP, including Politburo’s Standing Committee, the “most senior decision making body of the Chinese party-state,” according to the Center for Strategic Translation. He was also a chairman of the national committee of the CPPCC for several years.
China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs website published a post last October that lists Ruihuan as one of the “members of the Standing Committee of the Presidium of the 20th CPC National Congress” who was present for Chinese President Xi Jinping presiding over the closing session of the 20th CPC National Congress.
During the 2020 Biden campaign when Hunter Biden’s foreign business dealings were making the rounds in the media and abroad, Hsieh shared a local article about him and his ties to Hunter Biden. The translation of Hsieh’s Facebook post said, “I fully respect the Liberty Times’ instant news report on me, but I would like to make the following additions: 1. As a friend of Hunter, I must say that I am not very interested in his career in China and around the world Clearly, thanks to these media reports, I can understand better; 2. As for some gossip and rumors about him, I must say that it is really not very comfortable to read.”
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“If the rumor is true, it will definitely not be recognized by me and other friends of the Democratic Party,” the Facebook post continued. “But despite that, I think Joe Biden is a better candidate for the presidency of the United States. If I had a vote in my hand, I would vote for him without hesitation.” The English translation of the article he shared noted that Hsieh and Hunter “had signed a contract to cooperate with a new film project. In the end, the film was not made, but the friendship was still there.”
It is unclear whether any of these business executives ended up investing in Hualien Media International, what was discussed during the meetings, or whether their conversations expanded to other Chinese ventures Biden and Bulger were involved in. Fox News Digital reached out to Hunter Biden’s attorney, Schwerin, Bulger, Hsieh, and Alibaba, but they did not respond to inquiries.