Tonight in Beijing, Bill Gates and Warren Buffett are officially bringing their giving pledge plea to China and are asking the country’s billionaires to consider giving half of their wealth to charity with a much-anticipated dinner. Since they announced their visit, there has been endless speculation on how China’s wealthy will respond. Recent media reports of only two confirmed attendees are now debunked, but many in the public and media have either harangued Buffett and Gates as being out of touch with Asian philanthropy sensibilities or condemned the wealthy in China as stingy and corrupt. But what is the real picture?
Charitable giving, the wealthy, and the government’s role make for a complicated situation here in China. Here we want to address some of those issues.