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Charity’s Plan to Donate to Government Sparks Backlash in China

The Beijing Hemophilia Rare Disease Home Care Center recently announced plans to donate 1 million yuan ($143,000 USD) to the Chinese government and 100,000 yuan ($14,300 USD) to the Beijing government for construction purposes. This announcement from the charity organization, which relies on donations for its operations, sparked an outcry of criticism and skepticism online, with some saying “It seems the country has a rare disease.”

According to reports, the Center posted an official document on March 25th stating its decision to donate 1 million yuan to the People’s Republic of China for national construction. The next day, they announced a 100,000 yuan donation to Beijing for municipal construction. The Beijing Hemophilia Care Center was registered as a non-profit in 2012 and is a member of the Beijing Charity Association. It mainly provides aid for hemophilia patients and helps families by providing education, medical care, psychological counseling, and employment. Audits show that the group had total revenue of 24.7 million yuan in 2019. The revenue came almost entirely from donations, with zero government subsidies.

The organization’s announcements drew criticism online, with some questioning the legality of donating funds raised for unrelated purposes without obtaining donors’ consent. Some netizens joked that “It seems the country has a rare disease,” implying that the country is facing financial difficulties.

Legal experts stated that, under China’s charity laws, government agencies cannot directly receive donations meant for public welfare and must transfer such donations to approved charitable groups. Beijing authorities said they had received inquiries on the matter and had ordered the donation announcement to be retracted, which the Hemophilia Care group has now done. Some lawyers argued that the donation likely cannot proceed since no eligible recipient department within the government has been identified, and the charity failed to follow proper procedures like soliciting feedback from donors.

Source: Central News Agency (Taiwan), March 27, 2024