More rich Chinese looking to donate amid Xi Jinping’s ‘common prosperity’ campaign, survey shows

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  • About two thirds of respondents with at least 5 million yuan (US$727,268) of investible assets say they want to keep donating to charity in the next 10 years
  • A lack of information about where to donate and knowledge about policy are the major obstacles to philanthropic activity, shows survey of over 1,100 rich Chinese

7:30pm, 7 Apr, 2023 – More than 80 per cent of rich Chinese have donated money to various causes and most want to increase philanthropic activity as the government pushes towards “common prosperity” in the years ahead, a recently released survey shows.

The survey, which covered 1,100 private banking clients with at least 5 million yuan (US$727,268) of investible assets at China Merchants Bank, provides a glimpse into the attitudes of high-net worth Chinese amid efforts to reduce the country’s wealth gap.

More than 80 per cent of rich Chinese have donated money to various causes and most want to increase philanthropic activity as the government pushes towards “common prosperity” in the years ahead, a recently released survey shows.

The survey, which covered 1,100 private banking clients with at least 5 million yuan (US$727,268) of investible assets at China Merchants Bank, provides a glimpse into the attitudes of high-net worth Chinese amid efforts to reduce the country’s wealth gap.

A number of ultra-wealthy Chinese tycoons donated tens of billions of dollars following President Xi Jinping’s call for “common prosperity” in 2021, but it has been less clear how the wealthy entrepreneurs on the rung below felt about the campaign.

About two thirds of respondents said they would like to increase their donations or keep giving in accordance with their financial situation in the next 10 years, according to the survey, which was conducted in 2021-22 by China Merchants Bank and the China Philanthropy Research Institute (CPRI).

However, for the nearly 20 per cent of people who have never made a charitable donation, the main reasons were that they “cannot find a trusted channel” and “do not know about the policy”, said the report published last week.

About 75 per cent said they have not started a family foundation mainly due to a lack of information about how to do it.

Most donations were given directly to the needy, according to the survey, while the next most common avenues were through a charity or via a government body.

Wang Zhenyao, director of the CPRI, said increasing generosity among rich Chinese was a result of “China’s rapid economic development, quick accumulation of personal fortune, as well as the improvement of the legal environment for philanthropy in recent years”.

“As the common prosperity initiative unfolds and the third distribution scheme improves, there will be more frequent super-large-sum donations in China,” he wrote in the report.

Between 2011-21, there were more than 300 cases where one person gave away over 100 million yuan within one year, 38 cases of over 1 billion yuan, and seven cases of 10 billion yuan, he said.

About 20 per cent of the surveyed millionaires said they have made donations worth over 1 million yuan.

Geographically, about 60 per cent of these donors choose to support poverty stricken regions, the report said.

Poverty alleviation was the area most donors would like to contribute to, followed by helping the elderly, orphaned, sick and disabled, and providing disaster relief and emergency rescue.

Image by: Pixabay 

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