Wealthy start to dig deep
Updated: 2011-09-30 11:47
By Xu Junqian and Wang Yan (China Daily European Weekly)
Chen Guangbiao (right) sings at the rehearsal before his concert on Sept 25. [Provided to China Daily]
Jack Ma, the founder of world largest online shopping platform, Alibaba, agreed that doing charity should not be highlighted and that it relies on personal consciousness.
He was the only person from Zhejiang who attended Buffett and Gates' dinner, but Ma didn't promise to give away all his property.
He defended his decision by saying that Buffett made his decision to flow to the philanthropic cause at the age of 75. Most Zhejiang businessmen are now about 50, the age when Buffett was also busy creating wealth, instead of thinking how to handle it.
"If you have 1 million yuan, the money is yours and you can use it as you wish. If you have 10 million, it becomes capital and you should think about how to invest it. And if it accumulates to 100 million, it's your duty to manage it wisely, as it has become a common property," Ma said. "And I believe there is no other person who can manage it better than me."
Sun Lijuan, the retired deputy secretary of Zhejiang Disabled Welfare Foundation, thinks the main problem with philanthropy lies in the fact that demand always exceeds supply. "We always focus on how much money these people donated. Instead, we should pay attention to how the money could be used to the fullest extent."
The Wang Zhentao Charity Foundation, named after the shoe magnate of Zhejiang's Aokang Group, may be a good example.
With initial capital of 20 million yuan, Wang has helped more than 1,000 university students finish their college degree studies, with the promise that after graduation, they will help to pay the tuition for another student for one year.
"Some of the kids are about to graduate this year and 5,000 yuan won't be a very heavy burden for fresh graduates, but it will continue to benefit more and more people," said Wang Hailong, the spokesman for Aokang. "Besides, it will also teach the younger generations to give back, creating a beneficent environment for society."
Zheng, the government director, believes that Zhejiang businessmen are smart enough to create their own way of spending the money decently, just as they managed to make it during the past three decades. "Once they are triggered, the power will be unmatched."
For Chen Guangbiao, who sang in Guizhou, the power is already evident. "A Guiyang businessman found me this morning, saying he is going to sell his BMW and buy some 1,000 bicycles for the local people."