Chen Guangbiao sits in a snow-clearing tractor while charity training in mid-January, in New York. Provided to China Daily
One of the country's first billionaires, Chen Guangbiao, has just returned from a one-week charity management course in New York.
Currently, one of China's richest men, with estimated assets of 5 billion yuan ($759.52 million), Chen has donated more than 1.4 billion yuan to charity projects and says he will donate everything he has to charity after he dies.
Chen has also been busy receiving awards. In the first 10 days of 2011, he accepted 11, including Pioneer of the Year from China's International Herald Leader, and a top-10 private entrepreneur award by China Business Times.
"I got an average of one award every day last year (2010)," he says.
The chairman of a recycling company in Jiangsu province is regarded as one of China's top philanthropists and a show-off - though he doesn't seem to mind being called this.
"I do not do charity for reasons of honor, but because I believe that doing good should be recognized and I believe it will encourage more people to contribute to charity," he says.
After announcing he would donate everything to charity after his death, Chen says he received many thousands of e-mails, phone calls and letters from enterprises, overseas Chinese and ordinary people who - encouraged by him - have also promised to give to charity.
In the first week of 2011, Chen received about 20,000 down coats from friends in response to his appeal to help the poor in Yili, Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, before the Lunar New Year.
"Many businessmen in China do not want to reveal their names when they do charity, but their low-profile behavior is just as precious as my high-profile outlook," he says.
Chen's high profile means he gets a lot of people asking for help. Each day about 20 to 30 people contact him to this end. Chen admits sometimes he gets tired of the calls on his time and money, but insists he has never stopped caring.
"I hope what I do and the way I do it can get more people involved in philanthropy," Chen says.
(China Daily 01/24/2011 page22)