The Controversial Giver

Mar 16, 2011
*Special to asia!

As soon as he heard about the earthquake in Japan, Chinese tycoon Chen Guangbiao sped to the devastated area with cash, supplies, Chinese flags, and his name card.

Prior to the quake, Chen had announced that he was going to bring a provincial Chinese percussion troupe to New York's Wall Street, and invite famous people there to distribute red packets of money with him as well.

Why Wall Street?

“Because the global economic crisis was caused by those rich people on Wall Street who have neither conscience nor morals. I am going to wake the conscience of these rich people,” Chen said.

Chen also told Singapore's Chinese-language daily that he has plans to give out money in the small island state next year.

“There are also poor people in the world's richest places, so to do this will display the Chinese people's unbiased magnanimity. Only by going to where the rich gather, and doing charity with drums and fanfare, can it awaken more people's souls and conscience, make people be good and do good,” he explained.

Chen has repeatedly said that he hopes to inspire others to do charity with his example. Since 1998, Chen has donated some 14 billion RMB. He has said that when he dies, his entire fortune will go to charity.

What is clear is that while he is alive, this unusual Chinese philanthropist will continue to court controversy with his deeds.

dan-chyi chua

Dan-Chyi Chua was a broadcast journalist, before forsaking Goggle Box Glitz for the Open Road. A three-year foray led her through the Middle East, China, SE Asia, Latin America and Cuba, and she's now grounded herself as a writer for, content with spending her days in Jerusalem.

Contact Dan-Chyi

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