China / Society

Philanthropist fights report on donations

By CHEN MENGWEI (China Daily) Updated: 2016-09-23 11:08

Tensions are escalating between one of China's most widely reported philanthropists and news media outlets that questioned his donations.

Chen Guangbiao, a self-proclaimed billionaire philanthropist known by many through his attempt in 2013 to buy The New York Times, among other public acts, sued Caixin Media Company on Wednesday afternoon over an investigative news report that alleged Chen lied in many of his public announcements regarding what he has done for the underprivileged. Chen asked for 1 million yuan ($152,000) in compensation and an apology. The people's court in the Qinhuai district of Nanjing, Jiangsu province, picked up the case.

On social media, Chen characterized the report as "hearsay, malice, calling black white" and said that it had "extremely negative impacts" on him and his company.

He also promised to hold a news conference on Friday morning in Nanjing to give details about what he and his company have gone through in recent years.

Caixin has not officially responded to Chen's remarks. Hu Shuli, head of the media group, posted another behind-the-scenes video story online about the investigation into Chen.

Hu said Caixin journalist Zhou Qijuan spent more than a year digging into the story, and the hardest part was to figure out the exact amount of money Chen actually spent out of his own pocket for various philanthropic projects.

According to public records, Chen claimed that by 2012 he had made more than 2 billion yuan in donations and helped more than 700,000 poor families. Yet Zhou cited an anonymous source in the story who said that Chen has, at most, given out 20 to 30 million yuan of his own money.

Chen did not immediately return calls or text messages from China Daily.

Hot Topics