Char­i­ta­ble giv­ing rises on main­land

China Daily (Latin America Weekly) - - China - By ZHOU MO in Shen­zhen sally@chi­nadai­

Phi­lan­thropy has seen sig­nif­i­cant devel­op­ment on the Chi­nese main­land, with char­i­ta­ble do­na­tions reach­ing a his­tor­i­cal high in 2017.

Nearly 150 bil­lion yuan ($22 bil­lion) worth of do­na­tions were re­ceived by en­ti­ties on the Chi­nese main­land last year, 7.68 per­cent more than a year ear­lier, ac­cord­ing to a newly re­leased re­port by China Char­ity Al­liance.

Do­na­tions per capita rose 7.11 per­cent year-on-year to 107.9 yuan in 2017, the re­port said.

The re­port was pub­lished on Fri­day dur­ing the 6th China Char­ity Fair, which was held in Shen­zhen last week from Thurs­day to Satur­day.

Ed­u­ca­tion, med­i­cal care, poverty alle­vi­a­tion and devel­op­ment were the three ar­eas that re­ceived the most at­ten­tion, with ap­prox­i­mately 109.1 bil­lion yuan, or 73 per­cent of to­tal do­na­tions, pour­ing into projects in those sec­tors. About 27 per­cent, 24 per­cent and 21 per­cent of the do­na­tions in 2017 went to those three ar­eas, re­spec­tively.

En­ter­prises and in­di­vid­u­als were the two ma­jor donors, the re­port said. In 2017, about 96.3 bil­lion yuan came from en­ter­prises, ac­count­ing for 64.2 per­cent of the to­tal, while in­di­vid­u­als con­trib­uted roughly 34.9 bil­lion yuan, ac­count­ing for 23.3 per­cent.

China’s ro­bust devel­op­ment in phi­lan­thropy over the past year has been driven by im­prove­ments in the le­gal sys­tem, ob­servers say. The Char­ity Law of­fi­cially came into ef­fect in 2016, guar­an­tee­ing healthy growth in the sec­tor.

The most im­por­tant task for phil­an­thropic causes cur­rently is to ac­tively par­tic­i­pate in poverty alle­vi­a­tion, Zhan Chengfu, vice-min­is­ter of the Min­istry of Civil Af­fairs, said in a speech at the fair, themed “Fo­cus­ing on tar­geted poverty alle­vi­a­tion: Cre­at­ing a pleas­ant life”.

All par­ties should work to­gether to push poverty re­duc­tion for­ward and en­sure that re­sources are al­lo­cated pre­cisely to im­pov­er­ished ar­eas, Zhan said.

The re­port also showed that on­line char­ity giv­ing is gain­ing mo­men­tum, as 2.6 bil­lion yuan worth of do­na­tions were made through 12 on­line char­ity plat­forms in 2017. Three plat­forms un­der in­ter­net gi­ants Ten­cent and Alibaba con­trib­uted 93 per­cent of the to­tal.

It is be­lieved that tech­no­log­i­cal devel­op­ment has been a key fac­tor in pro­mot­ing Chi­nese phi­lan­thropy.

“An im­por­tant role of char­ity is to solve uni­ver­sal is­sues at a lower cost. The devel­op­ment of in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy, es­pe­cially big data and ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence, will make phi­lan­thropy more uni­ver­sal, health­ier and more trans­par­ent, thereby ben­e­fit­ing more dis­ad­van­taged groups,” Dou Ruigang, ex­ec­u­tive sec­re­tary-gen­eral of Ten­cent Foun­da­tion, said at the 3rd China Char­ity In­for­ma­tion Tech­nol­ogy Sum­mit, which was part of the fair.

Lyu Zhao, founder and direc­tor of char­ity or­ga­ni­za­tion NPI, said that as de­mand for phi­lan­thropy grows, more peo­ple will take part in the cause. As the most im­por­tant in­fra­struc­ture of mod­ern so­ci­ety, the in­ter­net has been adopted as fun­da­men­tal in nearly ev­ery in­dus­try, he said, adding that the phi­lan­thropy in­dus­try needs to em­brace it faster to help those in need.

There were 3,378 reg­is­tered char­ity or­ga­ni­za­tions on the Chi­nese main­land as of the end of 2017, ac­cord­ing to the govern­ment.

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