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Rich state firms, officials got bikes from Red Cross

By Li Qian (Shanghai Daily)

15:35, April 27, 2012

THE Chinese Red Cross Foundation said yesterday that it was probing allegations that it donated nearly 15,000 inferior bicycles to state-owned enterprises and retired government officials in northwest China's Shaanxi Province.

The exposure sparked a public outcry because the Ren'ai Foundation with the CRCF claimed all of its aid went to minorities and children in underdeveloped areas, not government organizations and state-owned enterprises, including Yanchang Petroleum Group, a major company in the province that boasts hundreds of billions of yuan in capital.

"We will be sure to punish the involved officials if the scandal is proved true," the CRCF announced on its official microblog on Weibo.com.

Shi Jinlong, an official with the Ren'ai Foundation, insisted that "retired officials were minorities" and said it was normal to donate bikes to major companies because they did great work. But it didn't win any appreciation.

Even the retired officials who received the shoddy bicycles complained about the donation, claiming they were too light, roughly made and prone to tire punctures, a local newspaper, Chinese Business, reported yesterday.

Some retired workers who were paralyzed or suffered severe diseases argued that it was meaningless to have a bike, especially a substandard one, which could neither be used nor sold.

The Xi'an Aircraft Industry Co received 2,000 bikes last August and distributed 200 to its outstanding workers. Overwhelmed by criticism, CRCF has recalled 1,800 bikes and agreed to replace them with new ones.

"We didn't refuse the offer because it (CRCF) voluntarily asked for the chance," the company's labor union vice director, Wang Feng, told the report.

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