More connections between SolarWinds board members and China continue to emerge as the aftermath of the devastating SolarWinds hack continues to unfold.
SolarWinds director Seth Boro, a man who was instrumental in starting the private equity firm known as Thoma Bravo, “currently serves on the board of directors of several software and technology service companies in which certain investment funds advised by Thoma Bravo hold an investment,” according to his biography on the SolarWinds website.
In 2019, Thoma Bravo bought JD Power for $1.88 billion from XIO Group, a mysterious Chinese company based in Hong Kong.
“Thoma Bravo has agreed to purchase JD Power, a Delaware-based provider of data analytics and market research for dozens of industries, from China’s XIO Group, with Axios reporting a price of $1.88 billion. XIO bought JD Power for some $1.1 billion in 2016,” Pitchbook reported.
XIO Group acquired JD Power from S&P in 2016 for $1.1 billion. The Wall Street Journal in 2018 reported that the Chinese company had “unclear ownership.”
“Most XIO employees knew little about where its funding came from. Some advisers to XIO received differing accounts.
The J.D. Power deal was completed amid a wave of overseas acquisitions by cash-rich, privately owned Chinese companies. Some of them have unclear ownership structures that bankers and lawyers say can be a source of confusion. XIO provided full details of its investors to everyone involved in the U.S. regulatory approval process for J.D. Power, a spokesman for XIO said.
XIO was among the new buyers Western bankers and lawyers started hearing about. A year after it was founded in Hong Kong, XIO opened its headquarters office in London’s Shard skyscraper in 2015. A Shanghai-based fund company called Shanghai Li Hong Investment Center invested hundreds of millions of dollars from mainland China in one of XIO’s acquisitions, according to a public document at China’s Ministry of Commerce. XIO controls Shanghai Li Hong, the XIO spokesman said.”
Following the aftermath of the SolarWinds breach announcement, many mainstream news organizations suggested that Russians were responsible for the attack, but this has not yet been confirmed.
National File reported that The ODNI, FBI, and CISA issued a joint statement regarding a cyber security campaign against the United States by “malicious actors.” DNI John Ratcliffe confirmed on CBS News that China, Russia, and Iran have interfered in the 2020 election, but the official report was allegedly delayed over intra-agency disputes on new intelligence surrounding Chinese operations information.
On August 7, 2020, NCSC Director William Evanina issued an “Election Threat Update For The American Public,” in which he stated that China, Russia, and Iran sought to “compromise our election infrastructure for a range of possible purposes,” This included “interfering with the voting process, stealing sensitive data, or calling into question the validity of the election results.”
“CHINA – We assess that China prefers that President Trump – whom Beijing sees as unpredictable – does not win reelection. China has been expanding its influence efforts ahead of November 2020 to shape the policy environment in the United States, pressure political figures it views as opposed to China’s interests, and deflect and counter criticism of China. Although China will continue to weigh the risks and benefits of aggressive action, its public rhetoric over the past few months has grown increasingly critical of the current Administration’s COVID-19 response, closure of China’s Houston Consulate, and actions on other issues. For example, it has harshly criticized the Administration’s statements and actions on Hong Kong, TikTok, the legal status of the South China Sea, and China’s efforts to dominate the 5G market. Beijing recognizes that all of these efforts might affect the presidential race.”
It should also be noted that members of US military intelligence, including prominent military officials like former Lieutenant General Thomas McInerney, have asserted that China has been accessing Dominion servers to “manipulate elections, including the most recent US general election in 2020,” as National File reported.
This comes as more connections between SolarWinds and China are discovered following the aftermath of SolarWinds hacking incident, as National File reported.
“According to his biography on the Silver Lake website, Kenneth Hao “led the establishment of the firm’s offices in China and Japan and led Silver Lake’s investments in Alibaba Group” from 2008-2011.
Silver Lake also notes that “Hao currently serves as a director on the boards” of several companies, including SolarWinds.”
National File will keep investigating the emerging ties between SolarWinds, Dominion, and China as the country awaits DNI Ratcliffe’s official report on foreign election interference.