Fosun International Ltd

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A Chinese multinational conglomerate with real estate, healthcare, tourism, insurance, wealth management, and manufacturing businesses. Its cosmetics subsidiary AHAVA excavates minerals and operates a visitor center in the occupied West Bank.

Fosun International is a Chinese investment conglomerate with dozens of subsidiaries in China and worldwide. Its business interests focus on real estate, healthcare, tourism, insurance, wealth management, and some manufacturing. In 2016, the company reported an annual revenues of more than $11 billion. Among its many subsidiaries is tourism company Club Med.

In 2016, Fosun bought Ahava Dead Sea Laboratories, an Israeli company that manufactures and markets cosmetic products using Dead Sea minerals. Ahava’s main facility, which includes its production site, visitor center, and factory outlet, is located in the illegal settlement of Mitzpe Shalem in the occupied Jordan Valley.

According to a 2012 Who Profits report, Ahava has been excavating Dead Sea mud at least since 2004, at a site belonging to Kalya, an adjacent illegal settlement. This is in direct violation of international humanitarian law, which prohibits the use of land and other natural resources in an occupied territory for the non-military purposes of the occupier. In an April 2016 response to a Who Profits inquiry, the Israeli Civil Administration stated that Ahava lost its license to excavate mud in the occupied part of the Dead Sea area. However, a November 2016 visit to the production site indicated a continued mining of mud in the occupied area.

Ahava continues to market its products under misleading labels, concealing the location of its factory in an illegal settlement. In an interview just before the purchase by Fosun, the Chinese company’s representative in Israel acknowledged that Fosun was aware of the location of the factory, and of the controversy surrounding it, “since the negotiations began.”

Because of the ongoing controversy over Ahava’s operations on occupied Palestinian land, a new manufacturing facility and visitor center has been under construction since 2016 in Ein Gedi, a few kilometers south of the current location and outside the occupied Palestinian territory. However, the company plans are yet unclear, as some Israeli press claimed after the sale announcement that Ahava’s current facilities in the Mitzpe Shalem settlement would remain in place and continue operating even after the new site opens.

Other Controversies:

In December 2015, Fosun International founder and chairman, Guo Guangchang, was detained by the Chinese police for a few days in relation to a major government anti-corruption investigation. Fosun halted trading of its shares until Guo was released from police custody. Earlier that year, Guo was named in a corruption court case in Shanghai, however no charges were pressed against him.

Economic Activism Highlights
  • On May 23, 2018, the student senate at the University of Oregon passed a divestment resolution to divest from companies including the Strauss Group, the Osem Group, Hewlett-Packard Company, Ahava, General Electric, Eden Springs, Motorola, G4S, Elbit Systems. The resolution also prohibited the purchase of products from Sabra, Tribe, Sodastream, and the companies listed above.
  • On March 9, 2016, Palestinian activists led by Bassem Al-Tamimi filed a $34.5 billion civil lawsuit in D.C. against individuals and companies that have been "funding violent settlement activities in occupied Palestine." The lawsuit names several defendants, including G4S, RE/MAX, Africa Israel Investments, Motorola, Volvo, Ahava Dead Sea Laboratories, Oracle Corp., and Hewlett Packard Enterprise. 
  • In October 2014, luxury online retailer GILT stopped carrying Ahava products.
  • In July 2012, the U.S. Presbyterian Church voted to boycott Ahava and all other Israeli settlement products.
  • In May 2012, the Minister of Trade and Industry of South Africa announced new labeling rules for Israeli products that originate in occupied Palestinian territories, including Ahava.
  • In May 2012, the United Methodist Church voted to boycott products made in illegal settlements, including Ahava.
  • In February 2012, Norwegian retailer Vita stopped selling Ahava products.
  • In January 2012, Daito Crea the Ahava representative in Japan, announced that it would stop distributing Ahava products.
  • In November 2011, the UK National Union of Students (NUS) and the King's College Student Council both condemned the university's collaboration with Ahava as a part of a research project funded by the European Union.
  • In September 2011, Ahava’s flagship store in London was forced to close down after two years of weekly protests at the site.
  • In January 2011, UK retailer John Lewis and Canadian retailer The Bay dropped Ahava products from their sales inventory.
  • In November 2010, the South African Police Commercial Crimes Unit opened an investigation against retailers SDV Pharmaceuticals and Wellness Warehouse for carrying Ahava products.
  • In November 2010, the Russell Tribunal on Palestine London Session finds Ahava to be to be complicit in Israel's violations of international law.
  • In October 2010, the Israel/Palestine Mission Network (IPMN) of the Presbyterian Church (USA) voted to boycott Ahava products.
  • In March 2010, a lawsuit was filed in France against cosmetics retailer Sephora for carrying Ahava products.
  • In January 2010, Costco agreed to stop carrying Ahava products in their stores.
  • In November 2009, the Dutch Foreign Ministry launched an investigation into Ahava’s manufacturing and mis-labeling practices.
  • In August 2009, Oxfam International announced that it would stop using actress Kristin Davis as a spokesperson for the organization, because of Davis’ contract to endorse Ahava products.