Chinese State-Owned Company Purchases Smithfield Foods

By:  Christian Gomez
Chinese State-Owned Company Purchases Smithfield Foods

Smithfield Foods, the largest pork producer in the world, based in Smithfield, Virginia, has been purchased by Communist Chinese state-owned enterprise Shuanghui Group.

On September 6, the U.S. Committee on Foreign Investment approved a deal valued at approximately $7.1 billion allowing China’s Shuanghui International Holdings Ltd (Shuanghui Group) to officially take ownership of Smithfield, Virginia-based Smithfield Foods Inc., the world’s largest pork producer. Shuanghui had already purchased all of Smithfield's stock back in May for approximately $4.72 billion. “The deal, which would be the biggest purchase of a U.S. company by a Chinese firm, still needs shareholder approval at a special meeting scheduled for September 24,” according to Reuters. Shuanghui announced that Smithfield would be listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange after the takeover was complete. 

One thing that Reuters and other Western media fail to mention is that Shuanghui International Holdings is controlled by the Communist Party of China.

In various English language sources geared to readers in the West, Shuanghui International Holdings is presented as a private corporation. For example, a photograph from the Associated Press of a pork processing plant owned by Shuanghui in Luoche, China, has this caption: “Shuanghui's bid for Smithfield Foods Ltd. represents a big step up on the global stage for Chinese entrepreneurs who are emerging from the shadow of state-owned corporate giants.” This caption suggests that Shuanghui is one a few enterprises in China that is not owned by the state, or Chinese government, enabling the reader to conclude that Shuanghui is a private enterprise.

In another example, the regular English version of the Wikipedia page for Shuanghui lists the company’s type as “Private with public subsidiary.” The Chinese language version of Shuanghui’s Wikipedia page (in Mandarin characters), however, says the opposite. The Chinese zh.wikipedia page for Shuanghui identifies the company type “國有企業,” which is translated into “State-owned enterprises” by Bing, Microsoft’s search engine and online translator.

Additionally, the English en.wikipedia page for Shuanghui lists the company as having been founded in 1958.

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