After seven years of deliberations, China is ready to adopt its first charity law. The sector has been marred by scandals, and the new law can introduce some oversight, says Rupert Hoogewerf, founder of the Hurun Rich List to Reuters.
In a 2015 survey of countries ranked by generosity of the public, the London-based Charitable Aid Foundation placed China second from bottom. A lack of trust is seen as the main factor for that.
In one prominent case that dented confidence, a celebrity linked to a charity was jailed for running a casino after pictures of her driving a Maserati sports car and flaunting designer handbags appeared on social media.
In another case, a provincial branch of a foundation used donor funds to invest in real estate, according to media.
“There was very little public accountability,” said Rupert Hoogewerf, founder of the Hurun China Rich List. “When there’s fund-raising from the public, you have the right to know how that money is being used.”
The law comes against a backdrop of a broad crackdown on civil society groups since 2012, with authorities citing the need to buttress national security and stability, and groups seen as posing a challenge are unlikely to see any relief.
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