Canada’s national pension fund has invested roughly $600 million in China’s electric vehicle (EV) sector, amid accusations from the cabinet of unfair trade practices. The government is now mulling potential tariffs on related imports.

Ottawa announced a public consultation last week imposing tariffs on Chinese EV imports to protect Canadian workers from “unfair Chinese trade practices,” while accusing Beijing of intentionally creating a global oversupply that erodes incentives for Canadian EV producers.

Meanwhile, the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) holds millions in shares in the Chinese EV sector, according to its “Foreign Publicly Traded Equities“Report released in March, as first covered by Blacklock’s Reporter.

Stock bought with Canada Pension premiums included $287 million in Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Ltd., a major EV battery manufacturer in Fujian Province. The pension board also owns $12 million in stock from Great Wall Motor Co., known for its Ora-brand electric cars.

Other holdings include automakers BYD Co. ($116 million), Li Auto Inc. ($69 million), Chongqing Changan Automobile Co. ($26 million), and Nio Inc. ($19 million). Additionally, investments in automotive parts and systems manufacturers include Huizhou Desay SV Auto ($13 million), Ningbo Tuopu Group Co. ($10 million), and Huayu Automotive Systems Co. ($9 million).

The pension board also invested millions in Chinese battery manufacturers and suppliers, including Tianqi Lithium Corp. ($13 million), China Northern Rare Earth Group High-Tech Co. (7 million), Eve Energy Co. ($7 million), and Ganfeng Lithium Group ($6 million).

Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland said last week that Chinese EV manufacturers are “quite intentionally generating a global oversupply,” undermining EV producers in Canada and worldwide. She said the public consultation, set to begin on July 2, aims to receive potential policy responses in order to protect 550,000 Canadian jobs related to the sector.

The Epoch Times contacted the pension board for comment, but did not hear back by the time of publication.

Other China Investments

CPPIB holds a total of nearly $7.9 billion worth of shares in Chinese companies of all types. A parliamentary committee had urged the pension board to divest from Chinese companies involved in unethical or illegal practices.

In a report dated Dec. 13, 2023, MPs from the House of Commons Special Committee on Canada-China Relations specifically cited Chinese technology giants such as Alibaba and Tencent. These companies were flagged for their connections to Beijing’s repression of Uyghur Muslim minorities. The pension board held shares valued at $277 million in Alibaba and $352 million in Tencent, according to its March report.

“There is no legislative or regulatory provision that would prevent investments in the People’s Republic of China,” the report stated. However, it recommends the government compile and maintain an “official list of companies deemed unsuitable for investment.”

The pension board also invested in other Chinese companies flagged as security risks by the federal government, including ByteDance, whose flagship video-streaming app TikTok has been banned from all government-issued devices since February 2023 due to security concerns.
TikTok faces US government pressure to separate from its parent company, following President Joe Biden’s signing of a bill on April 24. The mandate requires TikTok to divest within a year or risk a ban from US app stores and hosting services. This move aims to safeguard national security by preventing the Chinese Communist Party from accessing TikTok’s US customer data through ByteDance, according to White House national security communications adviser John Kirby.
Under China’s National Intelligence Law, all Chinese citizens and organizations, including private businesses, are required to “support, assist, and cooperate with national intelligence efforts” of the communist regime.
ByteDance is currently listed under the “Private Equity Asia” category in CPPIB’s holdings.

Matthew Horwood and Omid Ghoreishi contributed to this report.