Who are China’s Top Philanthropists?

China’s wealth is growing, and philanthropy alongside it. To help keep tabs on Chinese philanthropy, Beijing Normal University’s China Philanthropy Research Institute released a list of the top 100 philanthropists in 2013, ranked by volume of giving. (Note: The list is in Chinese.)

In ascending order of giving, here’s a look at China’s top philanthropists.

Image Source: Tradewindsnews.com

5. Ren Yuanlin
Total Giving: 250 million yuan (~41 million USD)
Affiliation: Yangzijiang Shipbuilding Holdings Ltd.
According to Forbes, Ren Yuanlin had a net worth of 665 million USD as of October 2013. Ren helped steer Yangzijiang Shipbuilding to become the 2nd largest private shipbuilding company in China, as well as the first private Chinese company to be listed on Singapore’s stock exchange. Philanthropically, Ren has been a big supporter of education and has also helped build schools in Kazakhstan. He also established the Jiangsu Yuanlin Charity Foundation in 2012, which is focused on helping the elderly in China—a growing concern, given the country’s greying population. That same year, Ren donated 27.83% of his equity stake in Yangzijiang Shipbuilding—which amounted to about 750 million USD at the time—to the foundation.


Tao Shing Pee
Tao Shing Pee (right) with former Prime Minister of Singapore Lee Kuan Yew / Image Source: news.xin.msn.com

4. Tao Shing Pee
Total Giving: 300 million yuan (~49 million USD)
Affiliation: Shing Kwan Group
Born on Christmas Day in 1916, the 97 year-old is the oldest in the top 5. Tao began working in commodity trading and shipping before shifting primarily to property development with the Shing Kwan Group. Tao is actually based in Singapore, but remains dedicated to philanthropic initiatives in China. The Tao Shing Pee Education Foundation, which he established, is based in Shanghai. The foundation helps provide financial assistance to students who have been accepted into Harvard Business School and Stanford Graduate School of Business. The hope is that these students will gain wider knowledge and help improve collaboration between China and other parts of the world.


Wang Jianlin
Image Source: World Economic Forum (Creative Commons)

3. Wang Jianglin
Total Giving: 440 million yuan (~72 million USD)
Affiliation: Dalian Wanda Group
Depending on who you ask, Wang Jianglin is either China’s richest or second richest person. Forbes puts him first with a net worth of 14.1 billion USD, but Bloomberg recently announced that Robin Li, the founder of search engine giant Baidu, had overtaken Wang as China’s biggest billionaire. Wang leads the Dalian Wanda Group, which is a conglomerate with activities in real estate, tourism, entertainment, and other industries. The Dalian Wanda Group stirred some global chatter after it acquired AMC Entertainment (better known as AMC Theaters in the U.S.) and British yacht building company Sunseeker International. Wang also serves as the Vice-Chairman of the All China Federation of Industry and Commerce.


dang yanbao
Image Source: bnu1.org

2. Dang Yanbao
Total Giving:  1.2 billion yuan (~190 million USD)
Affiliation: President of Ningxia Baofeng Energy Group
Dang Yanbao leads the Ningxia Baofeng Energy Group, which conducts business in the energy sector but also has activities in real estate, warehousing, distribution, etc. Along with his wife, Bian Haiyan, Dang founded the Ningxia Yanbao Charity Foundation and pledged annual donations of 50 million yuan to the foundation for at least ten years. The foundation focuses on education, but has also helped construct medical centers and supported mental health causes. Additionally, the foundation helps run a chain of supermarket social enterprises.


Yuxuan Yung
Image Source: YuxuanYang (Creative Commons)

1. Hainan Airline Group
Total Giving: 8.5 billion yuan (~1.4 billion USD)
China’s top philanthropist is actually an airline company, which may bode well for corporate philanthropy in China in the future. Hainan Airlines is the largest private airline operating in China, and it’s been dubbed one of the most socially responsible enterprises in China. It was founded by brothers Chen Guoqing and Chen Feng, who are themselves philanthropists. The Hainan Airline Group has supported organizations such as the China Disabled Persons’ Fedeartion, the China Charity Federation, China Youth Development Foundation, and the China Association of Environmental Protection Industry. In April 2013, Hainan Airlines publically pledged to help raise 1.6 million USD over the next 5 years for UNICEF as part of the Change for Good program.

Sources: Forbes.com; Columbia.edu; Committee100.org; BusinessChina.org.sg; InvestorCentral.org

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