Navigating the new world of social media should be a top priority for Chinese charities, according to Dawn Wang, senior correspondant for China Current. Wang's story, China's Philanthropy in the Age of Weibo, takes look at the different ways emerging forms of social media and online communications are affecting NGOs in China, including:
- Sina Weibo with 500 million registered accounts and hundreds of thousands of verified organizations is rapidly changing how netizens communicate.
- In 2011, Sina launched Micro-Charity, enabling netizens to donate directly to other people in need. Though it has enjoyed initial success, fraud concerns have arisen from time to time.
- According to Shawn Shieh, Director of China Development Brief, there are no clear regulations on using Weibo or social media to raise funds, an issue that should be addressed in the near future.
- Repercussions of scandals and corruption are far reaching and long-lasting. Following a large corruption scandal in 2011, The Red Cross Society of China has not recovered its reputation, raising only 140,000 yuan (US$22,000) in the first 24 hours of Ya'an earthquake relief in April 2013. Comparatively, Jet Li's The One Foundation raised 22 million yuan (US$3.5 million) and Give2Asia raised over US$1 million in the same period.
From China Current:
China’s philanthropy isn’t independent from the nation’s deeply entrenched inequality, unhealthy wealth distribution, nor the collapsing public trust in government-backed organizations. Are we going to see the further explosion of interest in Weibo philanthropy? It is undeniable that China’s charity is poised to expand, and the citizens are empowered to take the role in the coming years.