Jared Kushner's White House position used to woo Chinese investors: CNN

White House Senior Advisor Jared Kushner takes his seat in Rose Garden at the White House on June 30, 2017.
White House Senior Advisor Jared Kushner takes his seat in Rose Garden at the White House on June 30, 2017. PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON - Firms linked to Kushner Companies are using Jared Kushner's position in the White House to woo Chinese property investors, reported CNN.

The news outlet says online promotions by two companies that are working with Mr Kushner's family business have made references to him, in a bid to lure rich Chinese to invest in the Kushners' property development in New Jersey.

The promotions, posted on WeChat in Chinese, referred to Mr Kushner - United States President Donald Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser - as "Mr Perfect" and "the celebrity of the family" who once served as CEO of Kushner Companies, founded by his father.

One of the promotions, posted in May by a Florida-based company called US Immigration Fund, referred to Mr Kushner's appearance on the cover of December's Forbes Magazine, with the headline, "This guy got Trump elected."

CNN said the post was removed after it approached the company for comment.

The promotions target well-heeled Chinese willing to pay at least US$500,000 (S$684,000) each in exchange for a US visa under a US government programme called EB-5. The programme grants up to 10,000 immigrant visas a year.

A webpage by Chinese immigration company Qiaowai on WeChat stated: "Even some members of Trump's family have participated in the growth of the EB-5 programme...the 'Kushner 88' panoramic New Jersey apartment project...The lead developer on the now-completed project was Kushner Companies which is linked to Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner."

It added: "Given this, in the Trump era, the EB-5 programme is likely to receive support and be expanded."

When queried by CNN, a Kushner Companies spokesman said: "Kushner Companies was not aware of these sites and has nothing to do with them. The company will be sending a cease and desist letter regarding the references to Jared Kushner."

The company has had to apologise previously, when during a road show in Beijing in May, Mr Kushner's sister Nicole Meyer told investors: "In 2008, my brother Jared Kushner joined the family company as CEO", then said he "recently moved to Washington to join the administration".

The comments, made during a presentation to potential investors of the company's 1 Journal Square project, was accompanied by a visual display of a picture of Mr Trump.

The episode also led to Mr Kushner's lawyer releasing a statement saying Mr Kushner had no knowledge of the promotion and was no longer involved financially in the 1 Journal Square project.

CNN said US Immigration Fund pointed the finger at a "third party immigration consultancy firm" that was responsible for posting the promotion, while Qiaowai did not respond to CNN's query.

The EB-5 programme has been criticised for moving away from its original intent - to attract foreign investment into rural and deprived urban areas for rejuvenation.

Critics say developers have found ways to manipulate the programme to fund high-end property projects instead.