China new Draft of Charity Law


China new draft of Charity law has been shared late October and Charity Aid Found has published the 2015 WORLD GIVING INDEX, which indicates again that Chinese population participation in Charity donation, is far below the average in developed countries. The World Giving Index doesn’t not only survey money donation but also time volunteering and stranger helping:

  • only 8% of people in China are donating money to charity organizations.
  • less than 4% are volunteering time
  • China is ranked #144 on 145 countries for helping stranger


However, Chinese people may be donating more than reported in this survey, as Chinese are not usually keen to donate money to strangers, but prefer to donate directly to those in need.

China has indeed seen frequent fraud committed in the name of collecting donations over the past few years.
Only focusing on 93 organizations included provincial-level Red Cross groups, charity associations and public funds, a report ranked the transparency of China’s charity organizations by giving an average score of 35 (out of 100).

Screen-Shot-2015-10-19-at-4.09.28-pmBesides, as foreigner living in Beijing / China, you probably know that you’d better not involve when someone is in the need of help, as people trying to help other in the street were accused to cause the initial arm and extorted for huge sums. In order to protect good Samaritan against such behavior, Alibaba group has launched a new insurance in October 2015. This insurance called “lift up old people insurance” covers people helping elderly in the street from 3 RMB  / year and the beneficiary can claim up to RMB 20,000 for litigation costs if they get into legal trouble for helping old people who fall down in public. The insurance can be subscribed on line using an Alipay account.


China Charity organizations landscape

China has currently over 3600 registered non-profit groups that manage charitable donations, as per reported by Global Times last November 2nd 2015. China law defines three legal forms of “social organizations,” which is the official Chinese term for non-governmental / not-for-profit organizations (NPOs):

  • Social Associations (SAs) (社会团体,shehui tuanti), which are the equivalent of membership associations;
  • Civil Non-enterprise Institutions (CNIs) (民办非企业单位,minban fei qiye danwei) which are similar to service providers;
  • Foundations (基金会,jijinhui).

In addition to these legal forms, there are many informal NPOs registered as for-profit businesses as well as unregistered NPOs. Some unregistered NPOs gain legal status by attaching themselves to another legal entity, such as a social organization or a “public institution,” including universities and research institutes. 

A list of registered foundations is available from the CHINA FOUNDATION CENTER.


Key elements of the new draft of the charity law:

The new Charity law of the People’s Republic of China aims at encouraging more donations, by  highlighting the importance of the transparency of charitable organizations and clarifying what such an organization is and what responsibilities it should adopt.  

– an organization with the intention to do charity should first register with civil affairs authorities
– a charity organization registered for more than two years can apply for a certificate of public donation to the civil affairs authority it registered with: this would enable the organization to collect donations from the public during public events (but with limitations for on line fund raising)
– a charity organization may have other objectives than helping the poor, but also to improve education, science, culture, public health, environmental protection and “all activities that meet the social public interest”.
– charity organizations should disclose basic information such as the use of the founds to the public; they should also disclose their fund raising numbers at least once every 3 months 
– donors may be given a tax deduction
tobacco companies are not allowed to sponsor all forms of charitable activities.




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I am living in China since 2007. I am sharing my experiences for other expatriates to make their stay in Beijing more enjoyable. As I am writing this blog for SCOUT Real Estate agency, I am also computing updates about the Real Estate market in Beijing, not only on residential properties, but as well on commercial locals and offices. Hope you enjoy your reading!