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Forbes Cancels China Philanthropy List
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US magazine Forbes announced last Tuesday that it will cancel the China Philanthropy List this year and gave no timetable for resumption.

Forbes compiled its first China Rich List in 1999, the first of its kind in China, and has released the China Philanthropy List annually since 2004.

Ms. Zhang Xiaohua, marketing director for Forbes China, attributed the cancellation to the immaturity of charity in China, Chongqing Business News reported.

"Chinese entrepreneurs haven't reached a consensus on charity and therefore it is immature to make such a list," she said.

Traditionally, Chinese people don't want to show off their wealth, so entrepreneurs seldom publicize their donations.

Rupert Hoogewerf, a former Forbes employee and the first creator of the China Rich List, said such a cancellation is reasonable but his company will not follow suit.

Hoogewerf's company released China's 100 most generous persons last month (see Table 1), but many Chinese billionaires are not on the list.

Table 1
2007 rank name '03-07 Donations US$'000 causes  company
Yu Pengnian
260,000 Health, higher education Pengnian Industries
  Zhu Mengyi
140,000  Education, health   Hopson Development
3    Niu Gensheng
85,000 Social welfare  Mengniu Group
4     Huang Rulun
83,000 Education, poverty, health Jinyuan Group
   Yang Lan & Bruno Wu Zheng
72,000 Education, and cultural undertakings  Sun Television Cybernetworks
6     Chen Dexun
46,000 Sports Mog-Log Indusrty Group
   Li Shufu
36,000 Education, social welfare  Geely Group
Duan Yongping 33,000  Education, disaster relief  Bubugao Group

Huang Nubo 24,000 Sports, social welfare  Zhongkun Group
10     Yang Xiu
17,000 Education, social welfare Tiandi Group

(Source: Hurun.net)

Hoogewerf admits that the donations of Chinese rich people are quite different from their foreign counterparts. "At least half of them make donations to certain social projects or through their own foundations, so it is difficult to get accurate figures, and furthermore, many commodities are usually calculated," he said.

Some Chinese billionaires, on the other hand, disagree with what Forbes says, claiming they are actually trying to contribute more to charity. Xue Fangquan, board director of Chongqing-based Min Sheng Energy Group, also pointed out that they will help those in need regardless if such a list is available or not.

Liang Xiaomin, a well-known economist in China, believes Forbes made the correct decision. The majority of Chinese entrepreneurs should give priority to their technological innovations and company expansions before considering charity, he said.

(China.org.cn by Tang Fuchun May 14, 2007)

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