The collapse of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) garnered significant attention, particularly following the U.S. government’s decision to support the institution’s depositors. This move has led to speculation regarding the bank’s role in facilitating investments into Chinese aerospace and defense companies, and whether the government’s intervention was actually an attempt to safeguard these industries.
SVB had served as a vital conduit for the transfer of U.S. dollar capital investments into Chinese ventures, with China now being the second-largest venture capital market globally. In the late 1990s, SVB was among the first financial institutions to support China’s startups, eventually becoming a popular choice for China-based startups raising funds in USD, as well as some China-focused USD venture capital firms.
When SVB faced collapse, panic spread across China’s tech startup and venture capital sector, which relied on the bank to channel U.S. cash into Chinese projects. Reports from sources like the South China Morning Post, a Chinese state-run media outlet, revealed the connection between SVB and China.
Some have argued that the decision to support SVB’s depositors could be interpreted as a move to rescue China’s economy, particularly its critical aerospace and defense sectors. According to The Gateway Pundit, the bailout of SVB indirectly aided Sequoia Capital China Advisors LTD, an entity that invests in OrienSpace, a developer of aerospace and defense initiatives for China. Investor Alex Bilzerian further claimed that the U.S. government, through the private Federal Reserve’s bailout facilities for SVB, is financially supporting investment flow into sensitive Chinese aerospace and defense companies.
Critics assert that the Chinese aerospace and defense industries would have suffered significantly if the U.S. government and the Federal Reserve had allowed SVB to collapse without raising the cap on the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation’s (FDIC) coverage limit for lost deposits. This has led to questions about President Biden’s priorities and whether he is acting in the best interest of the American people or China. Some commenters have expressed concern that the intervention is a form of support for China, while others have called it “criminal” and argued that deposits over the $250,000 FDIC limit should have been lost as per the agreement between the bank and the depositor.
Ultimately, the U.S. government’s decision to support SVB’s depositors has sparked debate about the underlying motives and potential implications for both the American and Chinese economies. The situation highlights the complexities of global financial institutions and the intertwined nature of international economies, raising questions about national interests and government actions.