By: Ankita Kulkarni
December 14 2022
Adani Group signed a deal with Chinese firm East Hope Group in 2017, years before the Tawang clash took place. However, the deal did not materialize.
On Monday, December 12, the Indian Army announced that Indian and Chinese troops were involved in a clash along the Line of Control (LAC) in Arunachal Pradesh's Tawang sector on December 9, 2022. Indian defense minister Rajnath Singh on December 13 delivered a statement in Parliament saying that Chinese soldiers unilaterally tried to change the status quo in Arunachal Pradesh but were countered by the Indian troops and forced to return to their posts. He also added that soldiers from both sides sustained minor injuries in the scuffle, with "no fatalities or serious casualties" reported in India. However, there have been no statements issued by Chinese officials on the situation.
Following the development, several unrelated videos and posts were shared online claiming to show the clash, some of which Logically has debunked. One such post on Twitter dated December 13 carries a screenshot of a news headline, which reads, "Chinese firms inks deal with Adani Group to invest $300 mn in Gujarat." The caption of the post reads: "Chinese are intruding into Tawang, our Soldiers are suffering casualties but Adani still has no qualms in signing business deals with them." With no date on the news article, the post insinuates that the deal was signed despite the recent Tawang clash. However, the news is old, unrelated to the recent India-China clash, and is being shared incorrectly in this context.
We ran a keyword search and found an official statement released by the Consulate General of India, Shanghai, in June 2017. The press note states that Amit Uplenchar – President of Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone, Adani Group – and Meng Changjun, President of East Hope Group, signed an MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) on June 19, 2017. The East Hope Group is one of the largest corporate houses in China, having business interests in aluminum, polysilicon, power, and animal feed. The group, headquartered in Shanghai, is one of the top 10 aluminum producers in the world, with 150 subsidiaries and 24,000 employees.
The MoU proposed the establishment of manufacturing units in Mundra SEZ, Gujarat, to produce solar power generation equipment, chemicals, aluminum, and animal feed. The Chinese firm was to invest USD 300 million in setting up manufacturing units at the Mundra SEZ in partnership with Adani Group.
According to the statement, the MoU was proposed to convert into a definitive agreement within 180 days. However, we found an official statement posted by the Adani Group published on its Twitter handle in June 2020 clarifying that the deal with East Hope Group signed in 2017 had never materialized. "As a responsible corporate, the Adani Group has been dedicated in building the nation's critical infrastructure, which entails evaluating opportunities with Indian and international partners. The $300 Mn deal in question was signed under an MoU with the China-based East Hope Group in 2017, but it did not materialize. Social media posts being circulated on this deal are inaccurate and outdated," the statement read.
A report from Moneycontrol published in July 2020 also noted that a PIL (Public Interest Litigation) was filed in India's Supreme Court seeking the cancellation of the deal amid rising tensions along the LAC. However, it also carried the official statement of Adani Group indicating that the deal was called off.
Although a USD 300 million deal was signed between the Adani Group and the Chinese firm East Hope Group in June 2017, it never reached fruition. Adani Group had clarified back in 2020 that the deal did not materialize. It is incorrect to claim or insinuate that the deal was signed recently or around the time of the December 9 Tawang clash. Therefore, we have marked the claim as false.