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Charity in China: Teething troubles, to say the least…

From Paul French, Ethical Corporation’s China editor, in Shanghai:

Another strange twist on development of charity in China.

This follows on from the repeated scandals we’ve had with money going missing, charity workers popping up to show off their BMWs on their blogs, donations being used to fund property developments etc etc etc (see my recent column Charity in Trouble.)

This on top of the rise of the showy philanthropist in China flashing the cash and distributing wealth like a modern day Dickensian plutocrat (Here’s my column from last spring on Chen Guangiao.)

Now we have “Auntie” Bai Wanqing, a collector for the Shanghai Charity Foundation (who also pops up on TV occasionally talking charity) who’s managed to become an instant internet story.

Auntie Bai is one of those formidable strong-as-an-ox, mess-with-at-your-peril Shanghai grannies that are pretty common in the city. She has been standing on the street in her badged up red Shanghai Charity Foundation uniform with a megaphone screeching the following at poor passing pedestrians:

“You don’t want to donate even one Yuan, you are such a loser! You will be a loser for your whole life!”

The internet doesn’t find her haranguing style very funny, especially when the annual fiscal report of the Shanghai Charity Foundation is under investigation due to a missing RMB182.5mn (not shy of US$30mn) which officials at the charity claim was unaudited “administrative expenses” that you losers should stop worrying about!

Charity in China – still a fair way to go.

Paul French has written about China for Ethical Corporation since 2004. He’s been based in China since 1988. He is Mintel’s Chief China Representative. His latest China briefing for Ethical Corporation begins here. His latest, very good novel is available here.

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