Chinese Billionaire Hands Out Cash

January 28, 2011 at 8:47 PM Leave a comment

While “venture philanthropy” and buzzword-captured strategies seem to be dominant trends in philanthropy in the west, Chinese recycling magnate Chen Guangbiao prefers to hand out envelopes of cash to the poor himself. He continued this practice on a recent visit to Taiwan:

Mr. Chen today held a “donation ceremony” at a Taiwan auditorium and doled out $227,1888 in his signature red envelopes. He also donated money to social-welfare groups and a school-lunch program for low-income students.

This practice of course has its critics:

The fad among today’s venture philanthropists is to target their dollars to solve a larger social problem, not give away cash to the poor. Accountability, measurability and efficiency are the buzzwords among today’s American givers. The wealthy say giving cash out on the street just fosters a culture of dependency.

The author however suggests that Guangbiao’s practice might be a healthy part of the evolution of Chinese philanthropy:

Remember that John D. Rockefeller handed out dimes on the streets to children before he hired Frederick Gates and became obsessed with outcomes, eventually becoming the country’s first true venture philanthropist.

The red envelopes aren’t the only source of controversy with the Chinese billionaire’s visit. As with any outreach from Red China to Taiwan, some are concerned that it could be part of some kind of reunification effort by the former, as this article at the Huffington Post reports.


Entry filed under: International.

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News about philanthropy and the charitable instinct


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