Chamath Palihapitiya, renowned venture capitalist and crypto investor, has come under fire for dismissing the ongoing cultural genocide of China’s Uyghur population on a recent podcast.
Calacanis brought up US president Joe Bidan’s policy on China, and in his statement on Beijing’s treatment of its Uyghur population.
Specifically referring to the ongoing imprisonment and forced re-education of minorities in China’s Xinjiang Province, Palihapitiya said:
“Let’s be honest, nobody, nobody cares about what’s happening to the Uyghurs, okay? You bring it up, ‘cos you really care, and I think it’s nice that you care. The rest of us don’t care.”
“I am telling you a very hard, ugly truth, okay. Of all the things I care about, yes, it is below my line,” added Palihapitiya.
Chamath Palihapitiya doubled down on Uyghur take
While the remarks were instantly met with pushback from his co-hosts, the Social Capital billionaire doubled down.
Palihapitiya noted he cares that the US economy could tank if China invades Taiwan, climate change, and America’s “crippling and decrepit healthcare infrastructure.”
“But if you’re asking me: do I care about a segment of a class of people in another country? Not until we can take care of ourselves will I prioritize them over us.”
“Every time I say I care about the Uyghurs, I’m really just lying if I say that I care, so I’d rather not lie to you. It’s just not a priority for me,” said Palihapitiya.
But he faced more criticism online, particularly Twitter, where even the Golden State Warriors (the NBA team Palihapitiya co-owns) attempted to distance itself from the Silicon Valley billionaire, albeit without mentioning China or the Uyghurs directly.
“As a limited investor who has no day-to-day operating functions with the Warriors, [Palihapitiya] does not speak on behalf of our franchise, and his views certainly don’t reflect those of our organization.”
Not his first tasteless comment
Since the unfolding public relations nightmare, Palihapitiya issued his own statement emphasizing that “important issues deserve nuanced discussions.”
But just like the Warriors, he avoided explicitly naming the Uyghurs.
“In re-listening to this week’s podcast, I recognize that I come across as lacking empathy. I acknowledge that entirely,” wrote Palihapitiya.
“To be clear, my belief is that human rights matter, whether in China, the United States, or elsewhere. Full stop.”
This isn’t the first time Palihapitiya has found himself embroiled in controversy over edgy comments.
In November, he and All-In co-host and fellow venture capitalist David Sacks laughed about receiving large sums of Solana tokens at steep discounts, and their subsequent attempts at offloading those holdings onto crypto markets.
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