The Dutch pension funds ABP, Detailhandel, PMT and Woningcorporaties have sold their stakes in several Chinese companies that are supposedly involved in the oppression of the Uyghur minority.

Investigative website Follow the Money examined the exposure of the 24 largest Dutch pension funds to Chinese listed companies that are associated with exploiting Uyghurs.

The website has concluded that ABP, PMT, Detailhandel and Woningcorporaties have sold their stakes in some of the firms in question.

The investment in the Chinese companies involved is relatively small. The total value of the stakes that were sold by the four pension funds in question amounts to €115m, according to Follow the Money.

An example of such a contested company is China Unicom. The firm produces surveillance equipment that can be used to keep watch on the Uyghurs, an ethnic minority that is being systematically oppressed and exploited by the Chinese state according to human rights organisations and several governments including the US.

The two metal schemes PMT and PME do not invest in controversial Chinese companies anyway, according to Follow the Money. Both funds have adopted a more stringent ESG approach in recent years, whereby firms in which non-democratic governments have a stake of more than 10% are automatically excluded.

Implementing their new ESG approach, PMT and PME have recently sold stakes in around one hundred firms based in countries such as Russia, China, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.

Companies that are allegedly involved in the repression versus the Uyghurs are among these firms.

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