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People's Daily Online>>China Society

Spotlight falls on network's charity

By Wang Qingchu (Shanghai Daily)

10:06, November 29, 2011

The World Eminent Chinese Business Association, whose highest-profile charity project has been heavily criticized over high management costs, has been accused of profiting from expensive membership charges.

The Hong Kong-registered limited company, founded by prominent philanthropist Lu Junqing, claims its members include business tycoons and public figures. It recruits members by promising them access to elites and helping to expand their business networks, according to China Central Television.

Annual membership fees range from 3,900 yuan (US$611) to 39,900 yuan. The association also organizes conferences and celebrations, charging many thousands of yuan from members seeking to attend, CCTV said.

A manager, surnamed Sun, of a medium-sized real estate company in Shandong Province paid 11,700 yuan for a three-year entry-level membership last July, he told CCTV.

The following week, he paid another 50,000 yuan to be a premium guest at a banquet organized by the association.

At the banquet, Sun was told the chairman, Lu, would be a consultant to his company for three years at a cost of 1 million yuan, the report said. Sun made a 300,000 yuan downpayment but subsequently never met Lu or heard from him.

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