Chinese rich shun Buffett-Gates charity dinner; considered good thing

14:44, September 29, 2010      

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Bill Gates and Warren Buffet, the second and third richest men in the world, respectively, will host a charity dinner in Beijing on Sept. 29. The two symbolic legendary figures have sent invitations to 50 to 60 wealthy Chinese to attend the charity dinner and repeatedly said that they will not persuade people to donate money. However, incomplete data shows that almost half of the invited wealthy Chinese still clearly expressed that they will not attend the charity dinner.

Generally speaking, China lacks kindness toward charitable donations. People always wonder why someone would donate so much money and what their purpose may be every time Chinese witness donations, Ma Guangyuan, a well-known economist in China, said on his blog referring to the refusal by wealthy Chinese to attend.

Wang Dahai, chief of the China Philanthropy Research Center under Beijing Normal University, believes this is a good thing. He pointed out that Chinese entrepreneurs are more willing to keep a low profile, which is different from the charity capitalism behind the charity dinner held by Buffett and Gates.

Chinese entrepreneurs' refusal to attend the charity dinner is not equivalent to refusing an act of charity, and the entrepreneurs have the right to choose their own way of charity. Therefore, the public should give them understanding in a well-meaning way, Wang said.

Furthermore, Chinese entrepreneurs have embodied their independent concept of charity. Zong Qinghou, chairman of Wahaha Group board, said that creating wealth and increasing employment is also an important form of charity in China today.

Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba Group, also publicly expressed that leaving no property to one's own children and leaving all property to one's own children are both irresponsible. He also believes that a person who is not thoughtful toward himself will certainly not be thoughtful of society.

"Selflessness is also a kind of selfishness to a certain degree," said Ma.

Wang said that Ma's concept of charity reflects that the Chinese notion of charity is based on the blood relationship, families and regions, and it is not feasible to request local people to go beyond these limits.

By People's Daily Online


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