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China Critic Sen. Tuberville Bought up to $250,000 in Alibaba Shares

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  • Sen. Tommy Tuberville bought between $115,000 and $250,000 in Alibaba stock in December, his financial disclosures say.
  • The senator has been outspoken against China and moved to prohibit US investment in the Chinese economy.
  • Tuberville last year also owned stock put options in Alibaba, which he later told Insider he sold.

Sen. Tommy Tuberville of Alabama bought and sold shares in Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, financial disclosures filed on Wednesday showed.

According to the filings, Tuberville made three separate purchases as a joint owner of the American Depositary Receipt shares from December 14 to December 21.

The first two purchases were in the $50,001 to $100,000 range each, and the third transaction was in the $15,001 to $50,000 range, meaning Tuberville purchased between $115,000 and $250,000 in stock in total. 

He then sold up Alibaba stock worth between $50,001 and $100,000 on December 23. It was a partial sale, according to the filing.

Congresstrading.com first tweeted out the news.

 

Tuberville is one of China’s most vocal critics in Congress. In May 2021, the GOP senator introduced an act prohibiting funds from the Thrift Savings Plan from being invested in companies linked to China’s economy. The TSP is a retirement savings and investment program for US federal employees and uniformed personnel.

“We’ve seen it time and again — Chinese companies don’t play by the rules, committing intellectual property theft and disregarding basic regulatory standards at the expense of investors,” Tuberville said at the time.

The same week, the senator said Americans should be aware of how China’s government is “coming after us” with “plans to subdue the American spirit.”

“The Chinese Communist Party has continually spied on its citizens, violently suppressed dissent, and systematically persecuted religious and ethnic minorities to the point of genocide,” Tuberville said.

Like many Chinese companies, Alibaba is closely linked to the Chinese Communist Party. In 2019, Reuters reported that the tech giant developed a propaganda app for China’s government, and for a time, it became the most popular download on the country’s Apple app store.

According to reports, Alibaba founder and former chairman Jack Ma is also a Chinese Communist Party member. 

This isn’t the first time that Tuberville’s trades involved Alibaba. Last year, Tuberville’s disclosures filed in June showed he held between $15,001 and $50,000 in Alibaba stock put options.

He reported the actual value of his Alibaba stock as between $1,001 and $15,000 and earned up to $1,000 in capital gains during 2020, Insider’s Dave Levinthal and Kimberly Leonard reported in June last year.

His spokesperson said at the time that he no longer owned Alibaba stock.

“Senator Tuberville has long had financial advisors who actively manage his portfolio without his day-to-day involvement,” Tuberville’s spokesperson told CNBC on Wednesday when asked about his December share purchases, echoing the response from the senator’s office to questions about his shares in June.

Sen. Tuberville’s spokesperson did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.





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