Langevin Makes Profit Trading in Chinese High-Tech Companies

Chinese Government considered to be World’s Leader in Intellectual Property Theft

Congressman Jim Langevin (D-RI), a member of the House Armed Services and Homeland Security Committees has made hundreds of thousands of dollars in stock trades involving Chinese high-tech companies. Langevin, who has made cybersecurity and the threat it poses to U.S. national security a priority of his time in Congress, is also a co-founder of the Congressional Cybersecurity Caucus. He has called China “a country considered to be the leading perpetrator of intellectual property theft,” and said that “Chinese business leaders need to understand that if they make a Faustian pact with their government, they will not be welcome in the international community.”

Langevin’s 2018 Financial Disclosure Report reveals that he owned between $100,001 and $265,000 of shares in Alibaba Group, a gigantic Chinese multinational technology company specializing in e-commerce, retail, internet, and technology.

On May 20, 2020, the US Senate unanimously passed the “Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act” that includes considerations that may delist Alibaba from the New York Stock Exchange because of concerns that Alibaba is under the control of the Chinese government.

That bill was introduced on March 28, 2019. A few weeks earlier, on March 4, 2019, Congressman Langevin prophetically sold between $250,000 and $500,000 of Alibaba stock just before the bill caused the value of that stock to crash.

Langevin has requested an extension so he has not been required to file his Financial Disclosure Report for 2019 yet. That said, an examination of his Periodic Transaction Reports show that in addition to trades, including options, involving Alibaba, he also made 39 trades, also including options, involving a Chinese streaming platform called Huya. Twenty-seven of these trades were for at least $15,000.

Dylan Conley, Democratic Candidate for the 2nd Congressional District seat, said, “China is the world leader in intellectual property theft. How much money is the Congressman making off of Chinese companies? It appears as if he’s profiting from the same Chinese government and corporate system which, according to Congressman Langevin himself, steals $600 billion per year from the United States. Companies originating from China are part and parcel of the Communist regime. Congressman Langevin talks about cybersecurity and intellectual property protections, but what he actually does is invest in these Chinese tech companies. That’s a conflict of interest. He issues press releases claiming that Chinese tech companies that partner with the Communist regime are not welcome in the international community, but then he welcomes them in his own stock portfolio.”

A good portion of Congressman Langevin’s active trading is focused around technology stocks with companies based in China. Since 2018, Langevin made nine trades of over $50,000 involving Alibaba. Six of these trades were between $100,000 and $250,000. In this time period, Alibaba and Huya, alone, account for 30% of Langevin’s trades. Oftentimes, the Congressman binge trades, including option trading, a particular company in a limited window of time. Just one example is between October 29th, 2018 and March 4th, 2019, when Langevin reported 15 Alibaba transactions. These transactions included Langevin buying between $455,000 and $1,175,000 in Alibaba stock and selling between $454,007 and $1,060,000 of Alibaba shares.That amounts to a minimum of $909,000 worth of trades, which is approximately equivalent to 50% of his net worth.

Based on his Financial Disclosures, from October 18, 2018, to July 8, 2020, Langevin had at least 32 separate Alibaba trades netting a minimum positive cash flow of $453,990.i

Conley added, “Cong. Langevin represents the status quo in Congress. It is simply not good enough to give lip service to cyber security and intellectual property theft while profiting from a system that lies, cheats, and steals from hard working Americans. The status quo is to say one thing, then profit from another. As Congressman, I will seek legislation that expands upon the Stock Act to prohibit members of Congress and their staff from actively trading individual stocks.”

Dylan Conley is available for interviews.

Source Material

i. Under the Stock Act, Congress members are required to provide Periodic Transaction Reports which include the purchases and sales of securities, these purchases and sales are reported in ranges.This figure is the most conservative calculation possible. It is the difference between the highest reported purchases and lowest reported sales for that time period.