Chinese surveillance/tech giant Alibaba joins ALEC, will start co-authoring US legislation

The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is a big-business think-tank that authors "model legislation" at the local, state and national level that benefits corporations at the expense of everyday people; their greatest hits make for scary reading — you can thank ALEC for ag-gag laws, stand-your-ground laws, private prisons, bans on municipal ISPs, killing Obamacare and jailing pipeline protesters.

ALEC's Republican legislator friends often introduce bills that are word-for-word identical to the "discussion drafts" they circulate, making ALEC the nation's most prolific and unapologetic legislative ghost writer.

Alibaba is ALEC's latest member. The Chinese tech giant is an integral part of China's surveillance apparatus and a de-facto arm of the Chinese government. It's the latest Chinese giant to join US corporate lobbying efforts, a list that includes Wanhua Chemical joining the American Chemistry Council to help fund its legendary pro-pollution super-PACs.

Bill Anaya, head of government affairs for Alibaba operations in the Americas, spoke at ALEC's States & Nation Policy Summit in Nashville, Tenn., last December, according to notes taken at the meeting and obtained by The Intercept and Documented. The gathering brought together over one thousand state and local lawmakers and lobbyists.

Alibaba did not respond to a request for comment, but at the conference, Anaya heralded his company's entry into the lobby. "We're so excited to be a part of ALEC," said Anaya. "We are probably the world's largest e-commerce company you have never heard about. We have business-to-business marketplace solutions. We have VC marketplace solutions. And we have over 500 million active buyers on our marketplaces."

Chinese Corporation Alibaba Joins Group Ghostwriting American Laws [Lee Fang and Nick Surgey/The Intercept]