Sanctioned Chinese firms linked to the ruling Communist party have pocketed tens of thousands of pounds of taxpayer cash via the UK’s furlough scheme, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.
Controversial firms blacklisted by the US over fears they have contributed to the repression of Uighur Muslims took money from the UK Government to pay their staff’s wages during the national lockdown.
Firms blacklisted by the US over fears they contributed to the repression of Uighur Muslims took money from the UK Government to pay their staff’s wages during lockdown
Chinese surveillance firm Hikvision claimed over £10,000 from the Treasury, but has insisted it has paid it back. Pictured: File image of Hikvision security camera outside of a shop in Beijing
The companies, which include China Mobile, are said to be a huge security concern owing to their alleged association with the Communist regime, a claim denied by their bosses.
Although China Mobile is subject to an investment ban in the US, the UK Government has not imposed the same curbs.
It means the company, which has an office in London, was able to claim furlough money which uses taxpayers’ money to pay workers 80 per cent of their usual income up to a maximum of £2,500 per month.
Chinese surveillance firm Hikvision also claimed more than £10,000 from the Treasury, but has insisted it has paid it back.
Last night, critics called for a thorough audit of the emergency Covid scheme.
Sam Goodman, senior policy adviser at the UK-based pressure group Hong Kong Watch, said: ‘These payments demonstrate the urgent need for an audit of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to reveal the extent to which foreign owned companies subject to sanctions or investment bans have profited from the scheme.’