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Weibo helps flood hero find job

By Zhang Wen (

10:08, March 05, 2013

Li Chuannan (middle) with two other volunteers of the charity project Love Save Pneumoconiosis. (Photo/Wang Keqin)

A 24-year-old migrant worker from Sichuan Province, who is seeking employment in Beijing to help pay his sick father's medical bills, has received several job offers after an Internet appeal went viral.

Li Chuannan, whose father suffers from the coal-mining related black lung disease, told the Global Times Monday that he had already got four seemingly good offers since investigative reporter Wang Keqin posted a job-seeking message for him on Sina Weibo last Friday.

"Seeking a job - during last year's torrential rain in Beijing, Li Chuannan… together with his co-workers rescued more than 150 passengers who were trapped in a flood.

"Please help him find a job. He is a junior high school graduate, very diligent… His father suffers from pneumoconiosis and needs money," Wang posted on his Sina microblog on March 1.

"I became friends with Li after meeting him at an awards ceremony. He then became a volunteer at my charity project Love Save Pneumoconiosis. He told me he wanted a job and I posted the message for him," Wang told the Global Times.

"You just spend a few minutes and write a post, and it can help people a lot. I don't see any reason not to do it," he said.

Li was one of 152 migrant construction workers who helped to rescue stranded drivers and passengers from the flooded Beijing-Hong Kong-Macao Expressway after the July 21 rainstorms.

The workers were subsequently described as heroes for their actions, and a banquet was held in their honor.

"After I arrive in Beijing Tuesday, I'll check out the job offers," said Li, "I want to find a job which pays around 4,000 yuan ($642) per month because the medical and living expenses for my father cost 2,000 yuan."

One of the job offers is from Beijing Huatian food conglomerate, who said they learned of Li's situation through a media report Saturday.

"We'll talk to him and see what the most suitable job for him is. Since his interest is in cooking and we specialize in food, we're willing to help him," Liu Jian, Huatian's office director said.

Making online charity appeals through microblogs and other websites to aid individuals directly has become extremely popular in recent years, with many Chinese people saying they find it more trustworthy and convenient than other methods.

Wang Jianmei, 33, a housewife, has donated 300 yuan in the past two months.

"I give whenever I see a post seeking donations. I donate through Alipay. I donate 10 or 20 yuan each time; altogether I've donated several hundred yuan for children with leukemia and stray dogs. Helping people is just a click away," she said.

She said she trusts Weibo charities more than big organizations like the Red Cross Society of China.

"Large, official organizations like the Red Cross lack credibility. I think private charity will become the main trend. The money goes directly to those in need. It has higher credibility than the Red Cross, particularly those campaigns started by celebrities," she said.

Zhou Xiaozheng, a sociologist at Renmin University of China, said Weibo charity is becoming more and more popular and it has broken the monopoly of official donation platforms.

"Many people don't trust the Red Cross after the [recent] corruption scandals. Official organizations are easily corrupted. People don't trust them," he said. "However, Weibo is a grass-roots platform, and it's freer and more close to people."

"The reason for the increasing popularity of Weibo charity is the double push from the growing influence of Weibo and people's growing awareness of charity," said Shi Changkui, a charity expert and vice director of the management research center of the Beijing Academy of Social Sciences.

"Private donations have grown quickly in recent years, because the form is flexible and it has become a trend of the times," he said.

On the charity section of Sina Weibo,, there are a number of charity projects in which people can seek help, initiate projects, and forward charity messages.

Over 1 million individuals have donated cash to charities on the site.

Tencent Weibo's charity site,, has in total collected 106,856,708 yuan in donations, and the money was given by altogether 14,005,868 people, according to statistics on its website Monday evening.

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