While Jared Kushner’s family may have fled China in disgrace, that doesn’t mean that Kushner Companies has halted its efforts at securing Chinese investment for its latest building project.
Journalists from CNN and other media outlets were in attendance at a rather bizarre event held over the weekend in Shenzhen by the real estate company’s local partners. Inside the banquet hall, Jared Kushner’s sister was not present, nor were any company executives. Jared wasn’t mentioned, and neither was his father-in-law, and yet, they seemed to be most on the minds of all the investors in the room.
“The Trump ties are the attention grabber and the biggest selling point,” a property developer at the event told CNN. “No one mentioned Trump in today’s event, but everyone knows [Jared] Kushner is Trump’s son-in-law.
The event was organized with the help of Qiaowai, a Chinese company which connects US developers with Chinese investors. The company said that dozens of potential investors flew in from all around mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau and India to be in attendance at the showcase in Shenzhen, as well as a similar event in Guangzhou. Many told reporters that they had come all this way for one reason.
“People think [there is] some relationship with Trump, so they will feel safety, for their money,” one 26-year-old investor from Macau told CNN. “I think this project is safer, because it has a government connection,” echoed another investor. “He is Trump’s son-in-law, so it seems more secure.”
According to the Global Times, to attend the meeting in Guangzhou, potential investors had to register in advance. Beforehand, they were asked by Qiaowai if they had at least 4 million yuan in cash in the bank, and if they could prove that they had acquired that money legally.
Kushner Companies is reportedly trying to raise $150 million from rich Chinese investors for its luxury New Jersey real estate project via the controversial EB-5 visa program which grants big foreign investors US visas and a path to residence for the cost of just a half-million dollars. The program has proven especially popular among wealthy Chinese. According to the Associated Press, rich Chinese have invested $24 billion in the last decade through the EB-5 and similar programs in other countries to secure so-called “golden visas.”
Earlier this month, Jared’s sister Nicole Kushner Meyer got in trouble during a presentation to investors in Beijing — which was also attended by reporters — for mentioning her brother while pitching wealthy Chinese on this scheme. Meyer later apologized, stressing that Jared no longer plays any part in the family company, and canceled her appearancess at the company’s presentations in Shenzhen and Guangzhou.
So far, it doesn’t seem that the Kushner’s sales pitch is working. Bloomberg reports that the real estate project is still searching for its first Chinese investor after failing to attract any early financial commitments, despite presentations in four different cities.
Before he became a senior adviser to the US President, Jared Kushner ran his family’s company. Last year, he successfully used the EB-5 program to secure $50 million in investment from mostly wealthy Chinese for a Trump-branded complex in Jersey City. Now, he’s working on securing peace in the Middle East.
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