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Rich are giving hand over fist
Latest Updated by 2006-04-11 16:48:09

The rich in China are often derided for a perceived lack of social responsibility but two separate reports to be published soon show that the wealthy are more willing than ever to open their wallets for the needy.

According to the 2006 Hurun Report's Chinese Philanthropists List, compiled by Briton Rupert Hoogewerf and set to be released today, the total amount donated by the top 50 Chinese in the year ending March was 3.75 billion yuan (US$462 million).

That's almost three times the amount donated by the same group for two years from April 2003 to March 2005 which stood at 1.35 billion yuan (US$166 million).

The number of major donors expanded from 50 in 2005 to 100 this year, and six of them contributed more than 100 million yuan (US$12 million) each since 2003.

"The rich Chinese are becoming more and more generous," Hoogewerf said yesterday.

He said the top donor this year Shenzhen entrepreneur Yu Pengnian has given eight times more than last year's biggest contributor Huang Rulun, founder of the Jinyuan property and investment group, who gave 286 million (US$35 million), and "that's a significant change."

Second and third on the list are Yang Lan, Sun TV chairwoman, and Huang.

Hoogewerf also said the wealthy are giving more regularly, creating more sustainable charity projects and looking to use the money more efficiently.

According to another report compiled by Beijing-based Public Welfare Times and due to be made public next Tuesday, donations made by Chinese entrepreneurs last year rose by up to 40 per cent over 2004. The exact amount was not revealed.

Two individuals, who were not identified, gave more than 100 million yuan (US$12 million) each in 2005 alone a record said the report, which is not identical to the Hurun Report.

"The most noticeable feature of our 2006 Charity Ranking List is that Chinese business people are showing greater fervour in giving," said Liu Youping, the newspaper's chief editor.

He said yesterday that the results show the rich and businessmen in China are more concerned about public welfare and increasingly aware of their social responsibilities.

Chinese authorities have been making appeals for charity as 25 years of spectacular economic growth have created an estimated 1,000 people with assets in excess of 100 million yuan (US$12 million) while tens of millions of people live on less than a dollar a day.

Also, international funds, once an important source of support for the poor, are drying up as China is in transition from an aid recipient to donor, said Ge Daoshun, a researcher with China Academy of Social Sciences.

"So we need the rich to donate more than ever," he said.

Editor: Wing

By:Wang Zhenghua Source:China Daily Website
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