TRANSPORT for London’s pension fund invested millions in Chinese tech firms accused of facial recognition software to single out Uighur muslims.
Pension details shows the transport network splurged £35m on Alibaba and £25m in Tencent – both linked to the persecution of the minority muslim population in Xinjiang in China.
Alibaba has been accused of developing facial recognition software to target the persecuted minority, while Tencent also developed an app to single Uighurs out.
Alibaba, dubbed the “Amazon of China” openly offered Uighur/'ethnic minority' recognition as a Cloud service, allowing customers to be alerted any time Alibaba detects a Uyghur.
The company said it was “a feature/function that was used within a testing environment during an exploration of our technical capability”
London Mayor Sadiq Khan, has promised to lead by example on ethical divestment while running the capital.
But Tory London mayoral candidate Shaun Bailey has called on the Mayor to end the investments.
Mr Bailey, who has pledged to ‘detwin’ the Capital with Beijing, said:
”London is a global city with global responsibilities. And Londoners take these responsibilities seriously.
“Whoever we vote for and whatever we believe in, Londoners have a shared set of values — values we want to see upheld.
“So it’s deeply upsetting that Sadiq Khan has allowed TfL’s pension fund to invest in companies that aid China’s human rights abuses.
“We cannot stand by while genocide is being committed in Xinjiang and freedoms are being crushed in Hong Kong.
"It’s time for Sadiq Khan to live up to his responsibilities.
"He must detwin London from Beijing and disinvest TfL’s pension fund from companies involved in these crimes."
The Mayor’s Office said it had not direct involvement in the investments – but had met with the Pension Fund to urge them to “fully consider” human rights issues when making investments.
A spokesperson for the Mayor of London said: “The Mayor completely condemns the horrific human rights abuses against the Uighurs by the Chinese government and continues to support the UK government and international communities’ efforts to challenge the Chinese authorities.
“TfL and the Mayor have no control whatsoever over investment decisions made by TfL’s pension fund.
"These decisions are made by pension fund trustees, who are independent of TfL and the Mayor.
"However, the Mayor’s Chief of Staff and Deputy Mayor for Transport have met with the Chair of the TfL Pension Fund and Chair of the Fund’s Investment Committee and urged them to fully consider Human Rights issues when taking investment decisions.”
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