December 6, 2023

After banning TikTok on state units final yr, Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin has accepted a $2 million contribution to his political motion committee from a donor with a $21 billion greenback stake within the Chinese language-owned app.

As a part of a sequence of political maneuvers towards Chinese language-owned corporations, Youngkin issued an government order final December banning TikTok and WeChat from being put in or used on state-owned telephones or different digital units, calling the apps “a channel to the Chinese language Communist Get together.”

The $2 million donation to Youngkin’s Spirit of Virginia PAC, which has emerged as the highest donor to each the Republican Get together of Virginia and to the Home Republican Marketing campaign Committee this yr, was made by Jeff Yass. Yass is a billionaire financier who co-founded Susquehanna Worldwide Group, a Pennsylvania-based funding firm whose stake in TikTok’s father or mother firm, ByteDance, represents about 15% of the agency. His private $21 billion stake is 7% of ByteDance.

Earlier than operating for governor, Youngkin was co-CEO of the Carlyle Group, a personal fairness fund, and made hundreds of thousands of {dollars} off of offers with Chinese language corporations. In a 2019 interview, Youngkin declared, “We’re long-term bullish on China.”

Earlier this yr, Youngkin additionally pushed for the commonwealth to ban overseas entities with Chinese language Communist Get together ties from shopping for Virginia farmland. He additionally blocked the development of a battery plant that might have introduced 2,500 jobs to an space of the state desperately in want of an financial enhance. Youngking claimed that the plant – a partnership between Ford plant and a Chinese language producer – “would function a entrance for the Chinese language Communist Get together.” Employees on the plant would have been Ford staff. The plant and its 2,500 jobs went to Michigan as an alternative.

As an alternative of responding instantly when requested why Youngkin accepted the donation after his opposition to Chinese language-linked investments in Virginia, the GOP operative who heads the Spirit of Virginia PAC stated the governor is “extremely grateful for the entire help from individuals throughout Virginia and the nation.”

Florida megadonor Thomas Peterffy has additionally donated $3 million to Spirit of Virginia this yr.

  • Carolyn Fiddler

    Carolyn Fiddler

    Carolyn Fiddler is Dogwood’s chief political correspondent. She can also be the nation’s foremost professional in state politics with nearly 20 years of expertise in statehouse machinations, and her comedian e-book assortment might be greater than yours.