China's online sector propels charity donations

Social donations from across China exceeded 90 billion yuan (13.1 billion U.S. dollars) in 2018, an official of the Ministry of Civil Affairs said Monday.

China now has more than 7,500 registered charity organizations, with net assets totaling about 160 billion yuan, according to Jia Xiaojiu, head of the ministry's department for philanthropy and social work, at a press conference.

There are currently 204 charitable trust projects in China, with contracts involving about 2.25 billion yuan.

VCG Photo

VCG Photo

Jia said the ministry also pays attention to giving full play to the strengths of charity, social work and volunteer service in the country's fight against poverty.

The ministry's data also showed that China's online sector has been a major factor in the development of charity and donations. 20 online designated charity platforms saw 8.5 billion clicks in 2018, while major foundations said that more than 80 percent of donations they received were made online.

Jia told the press conference "China has become a leader for global online charity efforts," with more than 28 million donors making online donations worth over 830 million yuan (120 million U.S. dollars) on last year's "September 9 Charity Day," an event backed by Tencent.

Evergrande Group Chairman Xu Jiayin topped the latest Forbes China Philanthropy List earlier this month. /VCG Photo

Evergrande Group Chairman Xu Jiayin topped the latest Forbes China Philanthropy List earlier this month. /VCG Photo

Li Bo, an inspector at the department for philanthropy and social work, said the ministry is boosting efforts to ensure a wholesome charity environment on the internet.

Measures taken by the ministry include a credit system established to counter online misconduct in the sector.

The ministry's data come after Forbes last week published its China Philanthropy List, a ranking topped by real estate billionaire and head of Evergrande Group Xu Jiayin, who made cash donations in 2019 worth almost 590 million U.S. dollars.

Zhao Luyun, a professor at Shanghai University of Finance and Economics, told Forbes that China's philanthropy sector is expanding among the "the second generation of families that became well-off during the country’s reform era," with education projects and university funds among the most popular destinations for donations.

(With input from Xinhua)