Think Tank Draws on Free Beacon Reporting To Expose Liberal Donor's CCP Influence Operation

Jodie Evans and Neville Roy Singham (Getty Images)
May 16, 2024

Neville Singham, a wealthy left-wing American activist who lives in China, abuses federal tax laws to "stoke unrest at the grassroots level," according to a new report from a liberal-leaning national security group.

Through his charity, the Singham Network, Singham "exploits regulatory loopholes in the U.S. nonprofit system to facilitate the flow of an enormous sum of U.S. dollars" to left-wing agitators as part of Chinese Communist Party influence networks, the 50-page report from the Network Contagion Research Institute states. Those nonprofits, the report says, "can be better understood as a well-funded initiative driving a revolutionary, anti-government, and anti-capitalist agenda."

Singham has largely avoided the scrutiny of his wealthy left-wing counterparts, including Pierre Omidyar and George Soros. But Singham, as the report notes, has quietly cultivated a massive network of nonprofits with tens of millions of dollars in funding to destabilize American institutions.

"[Singham’s charities have] effectively exploited the U.S. non-profit system and institutions that are afforded democratic protections to propagate anti-democratic ideologies and disrupt societal norms," the report reads.

The report cites two Washington Free Beacon reports on one of Singham’s nonprofits, the People’s Forum. The group, which describes itself as "a movement incubator for working class and marginalized communities," was a leading force behind the illegal occupation of Columbia University’s Hamilton Hall.

Police later said more than 25 percent of those arrested at the university were not students. Hours before protesters stormed the campus, the People’s Forum’s executive director encouraged attendees at an organizer meeting to "recreate" the riots of "the summer of 2020."

"The People’s Forum … serve[s] as the conduit through which CCP-affiliated entities have effectively co-opted pro-Palestinian activism in the U.S., advancing a broader anti-American, anti-democratic, and anti-capitalist agenda," the Network Contagion report reads.

Singham is the lead donor to the People’s Forum, having donated $12 million to the group through the Goldman Sachs Philanthropy Fund in 2019. Democratic Rep. Ritchie Torres (N.Y.) demanded the bank "cut ties" with the People’s Forum in January.

Goldman Sachs has since distanced itself from the People’s Forum. The bank previously told the Free Beacon that it is merely a conduit for clients to make donations to charities they see fit.

Experts say groups like People’s Forum run afoul of IRS charity regulations by actively encouraging illegal activities like blocking bridges and occupying private property without permission. The IRS says that organizations may lose their charity status if they engage in "planned activities that violate laws" or "induce the commission of crime."

Singham, an avowed Maoist, has long been involved in far-left circles. The Network Contagion Research Institute report notes that Singham "was the subject of an FBI investigation into his ties to ‘groups engaged in activities inimical to U.S. interests’" in the 1970s. He earned his fortune through a technology company, which he founded and later sold for $785 million in 2017.

He has since moved to Shanghai and worked as a consultant for Huawei, a Chinese technology company that experts deem a national security threat. The Federal Communications Commission unanimously voted to ban the domestic sale of all new Huawei telecommunications equipment and devices in 2022.

The Network Contagion Research Institute uses data analysis in order to identify "emerging threats that threaten the economic, physical, and social health of civil society." The organization’s "Mapping Mistrust" project "forecasts … vaccine reluctance and shows how disinformation/conspiracy trends from social media and other online behavior predict real world hesitancy."

The institute analyzed how propaganda from Singham’s outfits spread after Hamas’s Oct. 7 attack on Israel. Groups tied to Singham were critical in shaping the tenor of pro-Palestinian activism on social media, the report states.

Organizations funded by Singham "were significantly more active and influential in promoting" social media hashtags associated with anti-Israel protests. Data in the profile show a "coordinated effort by Singham Network-linked organizations to dominate the social media narrative, thereby amplifying the movement’s objectives and expanding its reach across the digital landscape."