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Travel Ban on Chinese Communist Party to US including Billionaires of China

Chinese Billionaire Jack Ma

The Trump administration is reportedly considering a ban on travel to the United States by all members of the Chinese Communist Party and their families including Chinese billionaires. 

Such restrictions would be potentially affecting the more than 90 million party members and their families.There are more than 30 million private companies in China. Of 8,000 entrepreneurs who responded to a government survey published last year, more than half said they were members of the Chinese Communist Party. A quarter of the total respondents were members of the NPC, while roughly a third were members of the CPPCC.

They include many members of China's corporate elite, who would be unable to travel to America to do business. Alibaba (BABA) founder Jack Ma, Dalian Wanda Group founder Wang Jianlin and BYD founder Wang Chuanfu are all members of the Communist Party. Ma, who has a net worth of nearly $50 billion.

Dalian Wanda owns the world's biggest movie theater chain, AMC (AMC). BYD is one of China's leading electric carmakers, and boasts Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway (BRKA) among its major shareholders.

"China's rich and powerful are almost all party members," said Willy Lam, adjunct professor at the Center for China Studies at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, adding that people with money or influence are more likely to join the party.

A travel ban could snare many more top CEOs in China, depending on how wide the net is cast. Executives often have links to the government, even if they haven't been identified as card-carrying party members. Tencent (TCEHY) founder Pony Ma and Xiaomi chairman Lei Jun, for example, are both members of the National People's Congress (NPC), the country's top legislative body. And Baidu (BIDU) founder Robin Li is a member of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), a top political advisory body.

China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Thursday said a travel ban would be "pathetic," if implemented.
Some experts, meanwhile, are skeptical about how such a ban would work in practice.

"It would ban far too many people from coming to the US," said David Zweig, professor emeritus and director of the Center on China's Transnational Relations at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. "And what will the US do if people lie?"

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