Rich philanthropists acting in poor taste

Philanthropy in China is changing. Not only are more people accumulating wealth, but they’re giving away more of it. Privately run charities are moving into a sector dominated by government, and transparency and accountability are expected to improve.

Some big donors are setting clear guidelines on how their gifts should be used, while others – Chen Guangbiao is the leading example – continue to hand out money directly in a high-profile fashion.

Critics say Chen is showing off and stripping the dignity of recipients. Defenders applaud his public example of charity. Social welfare scholars wonder about the efficiency and effectiveness of such direct donations.

The diverse and often well- publicized donations of the rich have ignited debate.

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