Charitable giving rises on mainland
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.