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Neville Roy Singham, promoting Chinese propaganda across the world

Neville Roy Singham is a US-based millionaire who is accused of funding a financial network to push the Chinese agenda globally. He is the founder and former chairman of ThoughtWorks, whihc is an IT consulting company that provides custom software, software tools, and consulting services. But he sold it to a private equity firm in 2017.

Why is ‘Singham’ in the news?

An investigative report by The New York Times said, “In New Delhi, corporate filings show, Singham’s network financed a news site, NewsClick, that sprinkled its coverage with Chinese government talking points. ‘China’s history continues to inspire the working classes,’ one video said.”

The report titled, “A Global Web of Chinese Propaganda Leads to a US Tech Mogul”, claimed that the news portal was part of a global network that received funding from American millionaire Singham, who allegedly works closely with the Chinese government media machine.

Who is Neville Roy Singham?  

He was born on May 13 in 1954. Reports have mentioned that he spent hundreds of millions to fund various progressive causes and groups, such as Nkrumah School, Socialist Revolutionary Workers Party, and New Frame news in South Africa.

But some critics accuse him of hiding his money behind shell firms and supporting the agenda of the Chinese government, like promoting Beijing’s stance on the Uyghur genocide, resistance to assisting Ukraine in the war, and more.

He attended Howard University. He was a strategic technical consultant for Huawei from 2001 to 2008.

At one time, around 2008, his consulting company ThoughtWorks employed 1,000 people and was growing at the rate of 20–30% per annum.

It had bases in different places across the world and its clients included Microsoft, Oracle, major banks, and The Guardian newspaper.

The NYT report mentioned that Singham is “working closely” with the “Chinese government media machine”, whihc is spending “at least $275 million” in order to finance their worldwide propaganda, disguising it “as independent content”.

According to the report, his finance flows via “a tangle of nonprofit groups and shell companies” to groups such as “a think tank in Massachusetts … an event space in Manhattan, … a political party in South Africa … news organizations in India and Brazil”.

He apparently mixes together “progressive advocacy” with “Chinese government talking points”.

Serious allegations against Congress

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Nishikant Dubey accuses the Congress party of ‘collaborating with anti-nationals and China’, citing the NYT report.

The BJP leader also accused Congress of taking money from China, with the aim of opposing the central government. He alleged that Congress leaders met the Chinese in 2016 to oppose the Modi government.

Dubey said in the parliament, “They want to divide India through Chinese forces and some media. Between 2005 and 2014, whenever there was a crisis, Congress received money from China.”

“In 2008, they had invited both Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi. In 2016, they were talking to the Chinese during the Doklam crisis. He also took the names of Congress leaders Digvijaya Singh and Randeep Surjewala.

Opposition reactions to BJP’s claims 

The opposition asked how Dubey’s mic was on throughout the processing and reportedly they wrote a letter to the Speaker.

In the letter, Congress MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury wrote, “When the Acting Chair was giving the floor to ministers to lay papers on the table, Shri Nishikant Dubey’s microphone was switched on.”

“He proceeded to level libellous and defamatory charges against the Congress Party and Shri Rahul Gandhi, a member of the House, without having given any notice, let alone taken the permission of the Chair. His allegations were a flagrant violation of Rule 353 of the Rules of Procedure ad Conduct of Business in the Lok Sabha,” he added.

(With inputs from agencies)