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The China Philanthropy Research Institute of Beijing Normal University released a list on Friday in Beijing of China's 100 most generous people in 2012.
The 100 philanthropists were credited with having donated a total of 64.9 billion yuan ($10.44 billion) to Chinese society last year. The amount was five times that of 2011.
About 80 percent of the total donations, or 5.2 billion yuan, went to the education field, the report said.
Real estate industry players contributed more than 79 percent of last year's donations.
Chinese business tycoon Huang Nubo, chairman of the Beijing-based Zhongkun Investment Group, topped the list, with a commitment to donate 50 billion yuan, or half of his wealth, to Peking University in 10 years.
Wang Wenbiao, chairman of Elion Resources, made the second-largest donation. Wang pledged to donate 10 billion yuan to the Elion Foundation within 10 years.
About 31 out of the 100 donors on the list were from Guangdong province.
Beijing had 11 people on the list, who donated a total of 5.03 billion yuan.
"I didn't expect there would be so many donations worth more than 100 million yuan. Amid the background of economic recession worldwide and the sharp drop of charity donations in developed countries, China made a proud progress in the charity area," said Wang Zhenyao, a close observer of charity work in China, and the director of the China Philanthropy Research Institute.
"I think it was because Chinese people are more aware of their social responsibility, and rich businessmen are adopting charity work as an important part of their life," Wang said.