As China doubles down on its communist controlled economy, wiping out entire industries and billions of dollars in valuations, not everyone is so concerned.
In fact, one billionaire is suggesting that China is actually doing the right thing and that the U.S. should take notice.
Billionaire investor Ray Dalio is a longstanding China bull. His Bridgewater investment management company bets on China’s have continued to rise. In fact, the fund recently raised $1.3 billion for a new Chinese private fund.
But, most recently, that growth has come into question as China increasingly makes sharp turns on economic policy – to something that authorities call “common prosperity.”
The shift is making investors nervous. “Common prosperity” is the catchphrase behind China’s crackdown on big tech, the online education sector and online gambling and gaming. The callousness with which China is shutting down entire industries makes investors question if they want to remain invested in the country.
Not Dalio, however. In fact, the billionaire investor has been doubling down on his pro-China statements.
‘Not A Return To Communism’
“Common prosperity is a good thing. It’s another way of saying prosperity for most people,” Dalio said. He added that he is “pretty much aligned” with the Chinese Communist Party on the issue.
In his latest remarks at a UBS Group conference, he said that investors are misunderstanding China’s tech crackdown. Investors are wrong to think that China is returning to its communist roots.
“A lot of people … tend to make the mistake of thinking that this is like a return to communism under Mao, rather than understanding it’s just part of the evolutionary process,” he said.
“As Deng Xiaoping and others understood, it’s a cycle. First you get rich, and then you make a point of distributing those opportunities in a more equal way,” Dalio explained.
Deng Xiaoping is a Chinese communist leader credited with the transition of the country to a market economy.
Moreover, Dalio added that the U.S. “needs more common prosperity,” as do other countries.
Human Rights Abuses
Dalio’s remarks drew criticism due to China’s longstanding record of human rights abuses. Earlier last week, Dalio addressed that record. He suggested that either these weren’t happening or that he didn’t know enough about it.
“If it was clear that there were violations so it was repugnant to me and I knew enough about it, I would not invest there,” he said.
Before that, he made a controversial statement that these violations shouldn’t play a role in investment decisions.
Back in December 2021, Dalio issued an apology for a statement on human rights in China that “lacked nuance and caused confusion.”
“I was attempting to explain what a Chinese leader told me about how they think about governing,” he said. About how Confucianism is based on the family and that extends into their governance, which is a more autocratic approach that is like a strict parent. I was not expressing my own opinion or endorsing that approach, Dalio said.
Specifically, Dalio came under fire for likening Chinese authorities to “strict parents” when asked about their human rights abuses.