The New York Times tracked the financial transactions of Mr Singham and puts him and his associates at the forefront of what Communist Party authorities call a ‘smokeless war.’
During Xi Jinping’s leadership, China has broadened its state media endeavors, formed partnerships with international outlets, and nurtured foreign influencers, with the objective to present propaganda as authentic, independent content.
Who is Neville Roy Singham?
- Born on May 13, 1954, Mr Singham is a businessman and social activist. He is the founder and chairman of ThoughtWorks, an IT consulting company that provides custom software, software tools and consulting services.
- According to the New York Times report, he is the son of Archibald Wickeramaraja Singham, a Sri Lankan political scientist and historian and a professor of political science at Brooklyn College of City University of New York.
- In 2017, Neville Roy Singham married Jodie Evans, a former Democratic political advisor.
- Mr Singham’s financial network supporting spreads from Chicago to Shanghai, where he is based now.
- The New York Times report said that Mr Singham is linked to several charities and American non-profit groups allegedly working for his agenda. These propaganda groups are funded through American nonprofits flush with at least US$275 million in donations, it added.
In New Delhi, corporate filings show, Mr. Singham’s network financed news website, NewsClick, that sprinkled its coverage with Chinese government talking points.
The site was raided by authorities in India, as the Enforcement Directorate’s investigation into a money laundering case against the media portal and its promoters in 2021 had turned the spotlight on their financial dealings with Mr Singham.
The ED had accused the media portal of receiving surrogate funding to build a pro-Beijing narrative in the country. The central probe agency had then identified and alleged Mr Singham as the key source of INR 38 crore that the media portal received between 2018 and 2021 from abroad.
The investigators also claimed that part of the money went to activists such as Gautam Navlakha, one of the accused in the Elgar Parishad case.
The anti-money laundering agency even interrogated Mr Navlakha in jail recently about his association with the media portal’s founder and editor-in-chief.
Mr. Singham says he does not work at the direction of the Chinese government.
‘I categorically deny and repudiate any suggestion that I am a member of, work for, take orders from, or follow instructions of any political party or government or their representatives,’ he wrote in an email.
‘I am solely guided by my beliefs, which are my long-held personal views.’
Stay updated with all the insights.
Navigate news, 1 email day.
Subscribe to Qrius