Billionaire investor Ray Dalio says his comments on China's disappearances were misunderstood – after he said Beijing was being a 'strict parent'

Billionaire investor Ray Dalio says his comments on China's disappearances were misunderstood – after he said Beijing was being a 'strict parent'
Ray Dalio has raised $1.3 billion for a private fund in China, according to Bloomberg.Eoin Noonan/Web Summit via Getty Images
  • Ray Dalio said he "sloppily answered" a question on Chinese human rights, which led to a misunderstanding.
  • Last week, the billionaire investor likened Beijing to "strict parents" when asked about China's record.

Billionaire investor Ray Dalio said he answered a question on China's human rights record "sloppily," which led to a "misunderstanding" of his views, speaking as he defended his investments in the country.

After coming in for criticism for comments made to CNBC last week, Bridgewater Associates boss tried to clarify his position in Twitter thread and a post on LinkedIn over the weekend.

"I sloppily answered a question about China from Andrew Ross Sorkin that created a misunderstanding of my views," Dalio tweeted Sunday evening.

He added: "I'm sorry my answer lacked that nuance and caused confusion."

Last week, Dalio was asked about China's human rights record by CNBC's Andrew Ross Sorkin, in light of the disappearance of top tennis player Peng Shuai from the public eye.


In response, the investor said he "can't be an expert in those things," but went on to compare Beijing to a "strict parent."

Those comments drew a strong backlash, with Senator Mitt Romney saying Dalio's investments in China were "a sad moral lapse."

Dalio, the founder and chief investment officer of Bridgewater Associates, the world's biggest hedge fund, raised $1.3 billion for a new Chinese private fund, according to Bloomberg.

Romney tweeted last week: "Ray Dalio is brilliant and a friend, but his feigned ignorance of China's horrific abuses and rationalization of complicit investments there is a sad moral lapse."

At the weekend, the American investor said he was attempting to explain what a Chinese leader had once told him about Beijing's approach to governing.


"Confucianism is based on the family, and that extends into their governance, which is a more autocratic approach," he wrote. "I was not expressing my own opinion or endorsing that approach."

He explained his investments in China by saying Bridgewater's clients "​​rely on us to invest in the best possible ways in all the countries."

In addition, he said he weighs the pros and cons of investing in China in light of human rights issues, although he did not directly address Beijing's alleged activities.

The Chinese government has long been accused of stamping down hard on dissidents, including the removal of high-profile figures from public view.

Most recently, human rights groups, governments and the Women's Tennis Association have raised concerns about the fate of Peng Shuai. The tennis player accused a senior member of the Chinese Communist Party of sexual misconduct, and was then not seen for about three weeks.


Many investors and institutions are grappling with the thorny issue of China. Hedge fund titan George Soros slammed BlackRock earlier this year, saying the asset manager's big push into China is a "tragic mistake."

JPMorgan boss Jamie Dimon apologized in November for making a joke that his bank would outlast the Chinese Communist Party.

Read more: China's regulatory crackdown has been squeezing hedge fund favorites like Didi and Here's how billionaire investors like Philippe Laffont are playing the chaos.