NLPC Pushes Comcast to Disclose More About China Ties

On Wednesday, National Legal and Policy Center presented a “Communist China Risk Audit” proposal at Comcast Corporation‘s annual shareholder meeting that that would require the company to produce a report that addresses its vulnerabilities related to its extensive business in the communist country.

The company’s board of directors opposed our proposal, as explained on pages 82-83 of its proxy statement.

NLPC filed a proxy memo, which includes its response to the board’s opposition statement, with the Securities and Exchange Commission last month.

Speaking as sponsor of the resolution was Peter Flaherty, NLPC’s chairman. A transcript of his three-minute remarks follows:

Comcast’s inadequate response to our proposal for a report on its specific business risks in China misleads our fellow shareholders.


The Company says it already discloses risks that are “material” in its annual report.


But nowhere in its most recent annual report does Comcast cite Communist China in conjunction with any risks to the Company.


I will offer three examples of why Comcast is specifically vulnerable in China, and why it must inform shareholders with greater specificity:


NUMBER ONE: Comcast is literally in a business partnership with the Communist government.


Subsidiary Universal opened its Beijing Resort in September 2021, during the height of COVID, with CEO Brian Roberts (pictured above) expecting the entertainment complex to generate $1 billion dollars annually for the Company.


Yet the Chinese government closed the theme park TWICE for extended periods under its absurd “Zero COVID” policies, costing Comcast millions of dollars.


Worse, Comcast demanded only a 30-percent stake in the amusement park, with the majority ownership controlled by Chinese state-owned enterprises.


Not only that, but the project has $3.5 billion dollars in outstanding debt, all to a syndicate of Chinese financial institutions.”


Also of concern is that the Chinese government has a history of seizing the assets of corporations and forcing them to restructure their debt obligations.


NUMBER TWO: Universal Pictures obviously hopes to maintain access for its films in the huge Chinese market.


But as with the Universal theme park, the Communists clearly demand concessions regarding films, such as censorship requirements and revenue considerations.


Shareholders deserve to know in greater detail what it costs Comcast/Universal to reach Chinese audiences.


On a related note, congratulations are in order for the successes of “The Rise of Gru” and “Super Mario Brothers,” by not infusing them with a “woke” agenda like in recent films released by Disney, which has taken a shellacking to its revenues, its reputation, and its share price.


NUMBER THREE: Comcast subsidiary NBC is supposed to be an objective journalistic organization, but it is anything but, with a broad and deep reputation for liberally slanted reporting and advocacy.


And we don’t even need to include MSNBC in that characterization.


Even more embarrassing than its political bias and consistent leftist narrative, was NBC’s near-total capitulation to the Chinese Communist Party when it covered the 2022 Beijing Olympics.


Other than minimal commentary during the Opening Ceremony, China’s egregious human rights record was omitted from NBC’s coverage for the remainder of what many called the Genocide Olympics.


If Comcast doesn’t want to be in the legitimate journalism business, then it should sell the NBC networks.


As you can see, greater transparency is badly needed when it comes to Comcast’s business operations in Communist China.


Please vote FOR Proposal 11.

Read NLPC’s shareholder proposal for the Comcast Corporation annual meeting here.




Tags: Brian Roberts, China, Comcast, shareholder activism