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Public demand greater transparency of charities following Red Cross trust crisis

(Xinhua)

08:42, August 09, 2011

Although the Red Cross Society of China (RCSC) has boosted its public disclosures to regain credibility following a trust crisis in June, the public is still blasting the group, as well as other Chinese charities, for a lack of transparency.

The RCSC launched an online information platform on July 31 to provide more transparency following a credibility crisis that resulted from a scandal that allegedly involved the misuse of donations.

The RCSC came under fire following a scandal revolving around a young woman calling herself "Guo Meimei." The woman claimed to be a general manager for "Red Cross Commerce," a group that the RCSC said does not exist.

The woman posted many photos on her microblog detailing her lavish lifestyle, provoking the ire of netizens who speculated that she might have funded her extravagant purchases by embezzling money from the Red Cross Society.

Information regarding donations to areas devastated by last year's 7.1-magnitude earthquake in Yushu was among the first data uploaded to the online platform.

The website has attracted more than 18 million visitors to check out donation information, as well as the RCSC's auditing and fiscal reports.

However, many of these visitors have raised questions and are demanding even greater transparency, as information regarding the use of donations has been described as being too generalized.

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