Xi’s ESG Boom Funnels Billions Into Coal, Liquor, Defense Stocks
Assets in China’s ESG funds have doubled since 2021, lifted by Beijing’s growing emphasis on poverty alleviation, renewable power and energy security.
In a 40-minute livestream in June, fund manager Hou Chunyan made her pitch directly to China’s growing population of retail investors: ESG investing is uniquely compatible with Beijing’s growing push for carbon neutrality and “common prosperity.”
To that end, her portfolio — the Da Cheng ESG Responsibility Investment Mixed Fund — doesn’t rule out coal companies or liquor stocks. Chemical manufacturers are fair game, according to China’s main ESG benchmark, the CSI 300 ESG Leaders Index. So are solar energy and technology firms with alleged ties to forced labor in the Xinjiang region.