Credibility crisis in RCSC

Updated: 2013-04-24 18:14

By Wang Yu (

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The Social Supervisory Committee of the Red Cross Society of China (RCSC) has announced that it will reopen an investigation into the Guo Meimei scandal on Tuesday.

The Social Supervisory Committee of the Red Cross Society of China is a supervisory body that is independent of the RCSC. The public watch-dog consists of several well-known Chinese scholars and media opinion-leaders.

On Tuesday, Wang Yong, spokesperson for the Social Supervisory Committee of the RCSC, said the primary task for them is to provide earthquake relief at present. After completing the emergency rescue mission in Ya’an, the Guo Meimei scandal will be reinvestigated in mid-to-late May in a bid to win back the public faith in the RCSC. The Ya’an earthquake magnified the crisis in public confidence in the RCSC. The RCSC received frenzied online criticism after it posted a fundraising initiative on their official micro-blog.

On April 20, the first day of the earthquake, the RCSC was struggling with only 142,800 yuan ($23,100) in donations while One Foundation, a private charity initiated by movie star Jet Li, received over 10 million yuan ($1.6 million), according to Eastday.

Donators have become more skeptical and expect a greater degree of transparency and a higher amount of information about financial accountability and performance measurement from charities.

Over the past several years, the RCSC has been involved in a few scandals, which have tainted its credibility to this day.

In April 2011, one netizen posted a photo online which showed a restaurant bill for more than $1,500 for a single meal consumed by staff of a local branch of Red Cross Shanghai.

Before the RCSC appeased the outraged netizens, in the same year, the Guo Meimei scandal was made public. The scandal involving the young Chinese woman stirred up a huge debate across the country, and put RCSC under attack for corruption and misuse of public donations.

After the Guo Meimei scandal, RCSC has committed to openly publicizing information and established the Social Supervisory Committee. On January 29, 2013, the charity invited the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies to Beijing for introducing Organizational Capacity Assessment and Certification Self-assessment (OCAC) into their management.

However, despite the RCSC’s efforts, it has continued to receive criticism from tens of thousands of microbloggers, including messages to “Get lost”.