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Revealed: UK’s overseas aid fund is major investor in company linked to media crackdown in Myanmar

June 2020, by Nick Mathiason & Christian Eriksson

The UK government’s overseas anti-poverty fund is “urgently looking into” why a business it owns complied with demands from the Myanmar government to block independent media in the country.

CDC, the controversial investment arm of the Department for International Development (Dfid), invested US$20m in Frontiir last year – a company providing internet services to 1.3 million Myanmar people.

Myanmar’s transport and communications ministry demanded internet service providers in March to block more than 2,000 websites, including 67 news outlets, on the “pretext” they were spreading fake news about coronavirus.

Frontiir complied with the government’s request, the company confirmed. The story prompted the UK’s foreign secretary to face questions in the House of Commons.

Published: Finance Uncovered