Even though it has the world's second largest population of billionaires, China ranks 144th out of 145 countries on CAF 's World Giving Index which measures the percentage of a population that engages in charitable giving and volunteer work, as well as how willing people are to help strangers. What could account for this philanthropic gap? Oliver Rui at Forbes explains:
"Most of the wealth in China is “new money” – there are not yet Chinese equivalents of the Rockefellers or the Cadburys with family foundations that have been in place for generations. The majority of wealthy entrepreneurs in China are still young compared to their western counterparts; most are in their forties and fifties and have not yet begun to think about philanthropic activities.
China has also lacked a regulatory infrastructure to support private philanthropy; most charity organizations are initiated by government or semi-government organizations. Private companies and individuals who want to set up a charitable foundation have faced a daunting amount of red tape and compliance requirements that can be impractical if not impossible to meet. A lack of transparency and other good governance standards common to charity organizations in developed countries has led to several high profile scandals that have made the public feel Chinese charities are not so trustworthy. Hoping to relieve some of these bottlenecks to giving, the government issued new regulations earlier this year, but it’s still too early to know how effective they will be."
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