I was most concerned to learn on 24 December 2020 that the pension fund operated by Transport for London has placed more than £25 million with Tencent, a Chinese technology company that the UN has accused of involvement in covert surveillance and censorship on behalf of the Communist regime. Tencent is said to be aiding and abetting China's surveillance state and strict censorship of its own citizens, using covert technology to spy on the persecuted Uighur Muslim minority in the Xinjiang province, who have been forced to pick cotton, have abortions and renounce their faith.1 What have you done to investigate these allegations and if proven true, what action are you going to take to divest from Tencent?
I completely condemn the horrific human rights abuses against the Uighur population by the Chinese government and continue to support the UK Government and international communities' efforts to challenge the Chinese authorities.
Investment decisions by Transport for London’s pension fund are made by independent pension fund trustees and I have no control over them. Nonetheless, my Deputy Mayor for Transport and my Chief of Staff met with the chairs of the Trustee Board and the Investment Committee on 26 January and urged them to consider the fund’s position in relation to Tencent and ethical investments more widely.