U.S. Lawmakers Call for Investigations into Chinese Biotech Companies’ Alleged Ties to Military
Lawmakers in the United States have sent letters to multiple government agencies, including the Department of Defense, calling for investigations into Chinese biotech companies WuXi AppTec and WuXi Biologics for their alleged ties to the Chinese military.
In a letter to the U.S. Secretaries of Defense, Commerce, and Treasury, the lawmakers urged the agencies to investigate the companies and consider adding them to their respective regulatory lists.
The letter, dated Monday, was written by U.S. Representative Mike Gallagher, chairman of the Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party, and Congressman Krishnamoor, the committee’s ranking member, and was also signed by Senators Gary Peters and Bill Hagerty.
WuXi AppTec has responded to the letter, with a spokesperson stating that the company welcomes regulatory oversight and has successfully passed several past reviews by the U.S. government. The spokesperson also rejected the accusations and asserted that the company does not pose a national security risk to any country.
The letter from U.S. lawmakers comes after a bill was introduced last month to ban federal contracts with some Chinese biotech entities due to their alleged ties to the People’s Liberation Army. Both WuXi AppTec and WuXi Biologics have denied any wrongdoing and stated that they comply with the laws and regulations of the countries where they operate.
The letter highlighted the importance of addressing the risk posed by Chinese biotech companies to U.S. national security and technological competitiveness. It emphasized the need for the U.S. government to use licensing, sanctions, and related tools to mitigate any threats posed by Chinese biotech companies.
As a result of the scrutiny and the introduction of the bill, shares of both WuXi AppTec and WuXi Biologics have seen significant declines in their stock prices. Since January 26, WuXi AppTec has fallen by more than 26%, and WuXi Biologics’ stock price has fallen by more than 29%.
The issue has also had an impact on the stock markets in China and Hong Kong, with both being closed on public holidays.
*(Correction statement: The first paragraph of an earlier version of this article incorrectly described the relationship between WuXi Biologics and WuXi AppTech. The two should be sister companies. February 13, 2024)*