China / Society

More Chinese choose to click and donate

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-09-20 19:54

SHENZHEN - China's social media have become the main channel for the public make charitable donations, a report showed.

Among the total of 104 billion yuan (about $160 million) donations China received in 2014, about 61 percent were made through Weibo and Wechat, according to a report released by the China Charity and Donation Information Center, which is under the Ministry of Civil Affairs.

Popular online charity platforms run by Sina, Tencent and Alipay, gathered 428 million yuan, up 42.6 percent from the figure in 2013.

Experts attribute the trend to an increasing amount of commercial activity through social media. It also showed confidence in new philanthropy channels.

"Traditional philanthropy was confined by territory and the reach of donators, but internet-based charity has destroyed the black zone of mistrust between the philanthropists and beneficiaries," said Chen Yidan of Tencent on Sunday.

"A magical chemistry is produced when philanthropy was blended with Internet commerce. It stopped being a cold money-making tool, to become a social tool with warmth," said Zhao Xinyu, a private investor.

One charity program at Sina is to collect funds to help poor children in the remote Nangqian county in northwestern China's Qinghai province. In less than a month, 7,150 yuan was collected.

"I hope all the money we donate will be used to help the children," one donator commented.

According to the report, the Red Cross in China saw slipping donations in 2014. At 2.6 billion yuan, the figure was down 17.4 percent from the year before.

The organization's image was tainted after celebrity scandals broke in 2011 and shook the public trust.

The report also showed that the largest donation in China was a 24.5-billion-yuan ($3.87 billion) fund set up by Jack Ma, the Alibaba chief and his colleague Cai Chongxin in 2014. It aims to help with education, environmental protection, health and training in China.

China received about 2 billion yuan ($317 million) from donations from overseas non-governmental organizations and individuals, according to the report.

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