A venture capital firm backed by the Chinese government is a major investor in an artificial intelligence company that counts Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo’s husband as a top executive, a potential conflict of interest as her agency works to counter China on the world stage.
Danhua Capital, based in California but established with the financial backing of the Chinese Communist Party, is one of the main funders of PathAI, an artificial intelligence firm that employs Raimondo’s husband, Andy Moffit, as its chief people officer. Danhua Capital has been invested in PathAI since at least 2017, when it joined five other funders to contribute $11 million worth of seed funding for the artificial intelligence startup. It is unclear how much Danhua Capital has invested in PathAI, a private company, but the Chinese firm lists PathAI on its website as one of its featured “biotech and health” investments.
Danhua Capital was established and funded with the help of the Chinese government as part of its “penetration of Silicon Valley,” according to a 2018 Reuters report on the firm. The Center for a New American Security (CNAS), a liberal think tank with former staffers now in the highest ranks of the Biden administration, testified to Congress in 2018 that Danhua Capital’s mission is to use its capital to narrow the technology gap between China and the United States.