Beijing Youth Daily assesses the first effects of the Charity Law

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Editor’s Note:

This is a summary of an article that originally appeared in Beijing Youth Daily. The article analyses in glowing terms the achievements brought about by China’s Charity Law since it was implemented in September.

China’s new Charity Law, which came into force in September, has now been operational for almost three months. As China’s first law in the area of public welfare, it is bound to have a profound impact on internet charity, corporate social responsibility and the moulding of business ethics.

China’s Internet charity has in fact already seen significant changes since the Charity Law was implemented. Online fundraising platforms have been increasing dramatically over these last few years, and are becoming an important force in promoting the innovation and development of Chinese charity. However there are some intractable problems with these platforms, including frequent frauds over donations, bad management of charitable funds and a non-transparent use of money, all of which have engendered a lack of public trust towards online fundraising platforms. In response, the Charity Law stipulates that all charitable organisations must release fundraising information only on official platforms recognised by the Civil Affairs Department of the State Council. After a unified and strict assessment, a total of 13 platforms received an acknowledgment, including Tencent Charity, Taobao and the Ant King service platform.

These platforms have also made considerable changes since the Charity Law was implemented. From this September, Alipay is recommending the best charitable programs to its users by adopting intelligent algorithms that can make judgments and recommendations. Tencent Charity will continue to promote the transparency of public welfare and has added a progress report and a final report for all programs in order to enable sponsors and public organisations to release updated information about the programs. In the mean time the Baidu charitable donation platform is positioning itself as an integrated platform for displaying, inquiring and spreading information and fundraising for public welfare projects.

The Charity Law is also playing an important role in encouraging modern enterprises to better fulfil their social responsibilities and creating a healthy and enabling atmosphere for charity. Enterprises are supposed to share moral and charitable responsibilities in addition to economic and legal ones. According to the Blue Book of Corporate Social Responsibility released this year, China’s private enterprises not only have a strong economic power, but they are also assuming greater corporate social responsibility. In addition to Alibaba, the Blue Book also praises the HNA Group for having made great achievements in the strengthening of its corporate social responsibility. This company has been involved in a number of social causes, including offering educational aid, alleviating poverty, providing medical and health services for free and rescuing people from disasters.