Chinese companies got PPP money meant for American small businesses

PPP loans meant to help small businesses stay afloat in the midst of the pandemic also went to Chinese businesses

Chinese president Xi Jinping listens during the closing session of the National People’s Congress, (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)

The economic stimulus CARES Act had provisions to help small businesses survive as the coronavirus pandemic raged. One of them was the Paycheck Protection Program or PPP, which provided loans to businesses to allow them to keep their employees on the payroll. If certain conditions were met, the loans wouldn’t need to be repaid.

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As theGrio has reported, some of that money went to big businesses like Shake Shack and Ruth’s Chris steakhouses. These were large companies that could be expected to not have such urgent financial needs.

Shake Shack thegrio.com
CHICAGO, IL – JANUARY 28: A sign hangs outside of a Shake Shack restaurant on January 28, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. The burger chain, with currently has 63 locations, is expected to go public this week with an IPO priced between $17 to $19 a share. The company will trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol SHAK. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

However, while many businesses waited for their PPP, it has also been revealed that some Chinese businesses also received PPP funds.

According to the Treasury Department, as reported by NBC News, Continental Airspace Technologies, a subsidiary of the behemoth Chinese company Aviation Industry Corporation, received between $5 and $10M.

A joint venture of AVIC, Aviage Systems, headquartered in Arizona, received between $150K and $350K. The American corporation, General Electric is a partner in that joint venture.

HNA Group North America LLC along with HNA Training Center NY LLC were also recipients of funds ranging from 350K to $1M, reports NBC. They are part of the Chinese company HNA Group that works in transportation, real estate, airports, hotels, and more.

In a letter from a bipartisan group of lawmakers, President Donald Trump was asked to penalize the companies who received the aid. Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas and Rep. Mike Gallagher of Wisconsin, both Republicans, urged the president to penalize the companies.

Trump thegrio.com
(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

There has been no comment from the State or Treasury Departments or the White House national security council about what can done now that the money has been disbursed. The only comment was from the Treasury Department who basically said that there are provisions to deny loan forgiveness to any of the PPP loan recipients.

Trump has been contentious with China for much of the year, blaming them for what he refers to as the “Chinese flu,” alleging they allowed the coronavirus to spread by withholding information about its severity. He recently threatened to ban the TikTok app, which is owned by the Chinese company ByteDance.

Trump says that because of the app’s widespread popularity in the U.S, it could lead to internet security issues. According to CNN Business, he says he will shut down the app in the U.S. if the company does not find an American buyer by September 15.

Microsoft has emerged as a potential buyer.

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“Right now they don’t have any rights unless we give it to them. So if we’re going to give them the rights, then … it has to come into this country,” Trump said at a press conference on Monday. “It’s a great asset, but it’s not a great asset in the United States unless they have approval in the United States.”


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