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Wang Zhenyao: The man who has faults and makes mistakes can also do good deeds

:2019/08/18

Wang Zhenyao, who is over sixty, has been devoting to the philanthropy.


Since he resigned as Director of the Ministry of Civil Affairs, he has served successively as Dean of both the China Philanthropy Research Institute at Beijing Normal University and the Shenzhen China Global Philanthropy Institute for the past nine years. Among all kinds of social duties and activities, on the one hand, he constantly educates entrepreneurs to practice philanthropy and assume social responsibilities; on the other hand, he constantly appeals to more ordinary people to participate in philanthropy. 

From Director to Scholar and Expert, he experienced the coverage of social welfare and the publicity of philanthropy information, and he witnessed and promoted the leap of the history of philanthropy. 


At the Southern Weekly Annual Conference on Corporate Social Responsibility in China on July 26, 2019, he said: "The biggest challenge for China's philanthropy at this stage is how to integrate more closely with corporate social responsibility and exert more influence. The current situation is far from what the government and society expect of us." 

His solution is to involve entrepreneurs, people from all walks of life and more ordinary people. and his responsibility, and that of the industry as a whole, is to build a larger and more comprehensive platform for their participation. "Philanthropy is more than just the philanthropy of great entrepreneurs. The real philanthropy is the philanthropy for the common people, which is the essence of philanthropy." He concluded. 

"China's corporate donations have been at the forefront." 

Southern Weekly: At a time when GDP per capita is approaching USD10,000, what kind of social responsibility should Chinese enterprises promote? 

Wang Zhenyao: If GDP per capita exceeds USD10,000, then the social responsibility we advocate will not be the same as the original social responsibility. I call the economy advocated during this period "Economy of Goodness", that is, the economy is upward and toward good. At this time, corporate social responsibility, including technology, humanities, health, lifestyle and other aspects, should be able to reflect social responsibility. 


In the past, the most basic social responsibility of enterprises is to ensure employment and product quality, but when we are in the environment of "promoting development", the significance and social responsibility of enterprises lies in leading social development and becoming advanced productive forces. If we want to maintain the advanced nature of the enterprise, I'm afraid it is difficult to go on without goodness and philanthropy. 

Corporate social responsibility at this stage is not the same as it was 40 years ago, nor is it the same as it was 10 years ago. Today, we need Chinese enterprises to focus on the world, truly show the world view and goodness in the world, and share the common destiny of mankind in the international community. 

Southern Weekly: But according to the Blue Book on Philanthropy: China Philanthropy Development Report (2019), released in July 2019, China's total social donations in 2018 were RMB112.8 billion, down 26% from 2017. How should this phenomenon be analyzed? In the next few years, will corporate philanthropy hit a low point? 

Wang Zhenyao: Donations from businesses around the world are low. The United States has the highest total amount of philanthropic donations in the world. Its personal donations and family donations generally account for more than 70% of the total amount, so the corresponding corporate donations will be smaller. Although in recent years, Chinese corporate donations have accounted for more than 50% or more of total donations for many years in a row, wherein, private enterprise donations have accounted for more than 50% of corporate donations for many years in a row. 

I hope that in real life, enterprises, especially private enterprises, shouldn't be put under the pressure of donating. In fact, last year the stock market fluctuated sharply, and some enterprises encountered operational difficulties, so many private enterprises have reduced the final amount of donations; In the future, with the reform of the tax system in all aspects, we should expect a lower share of corporate donations. 

However, I believe that while the amount of donations is decreasing, enterprises are gradually moving towards themselves and towards the professionalization of philanthropy. With the development of industry and government policies, it is necessary to become more and more professional to be an influential philanthropist. In the initial stage of the development of the industry, what we all want is to do good deeds and that's all. But later, we gradually find that the participation of charitable organization and the investment of philanthropists are often areas that the government did not pay attention to at the beginning or where the fund is tight. With the gradual improvement of the policy, the professional requirements for the whole philanthropy donation business have been put forward. 

Philanthropy is not an "altar" but a "chancel". 

Southern Weekly: Now many entrepreneurs are keen to do philanthropy, promote philanthropy projects, but some entrepreneurs are corrupt, and even illegal and criminal behavior has been exposed from time to time. After these negative information is under the spotlight, the public will question their own initial intention to do philanthropy, while also questioning the sustainability and effectiveness of philanthropy projects. What do you think of the phenomenon of entrepreneur? Are there any correlations between individual behavior and organizations in philanthropy? 

Wang Zhenyao: First of all, this involves the original sin of modern entrepreneurs. In the process of China's reform and opening up, there were many policy restrictions and gaps. It is wrong for any society to look into the past of these entrepreneurs, because never a rose wThe second level is the violation of existing laws by entrepreneurs. I don't think it's fair to negate an entrepreneur's past philanthropy due to breaking the law and think that all the philanthropy he has done are fake. There are many reasons for committing the crime, but we can't simply and rudely conclude that his philanthropy is problematic. The merits and demerits cannot be offset. Don't assume this person is perfect because of one of his advantages, similarly, Don't deny a person even though he commits a crime. If he does do something wrong, even a crime, the freedom of law to punish him, but if his philanthropy projects are good for society, then we need to recognize his philanthropy. So I think we should treat them differently. 




ithout the prick. 

I don't think it's right for entrepreneurs to associate their own shortcomings with philanthropic behavior when they are doing philanthropy. I never thought that the money used for philanthropy had to be pure. I used to give you an extreme example when I worked in the Ministry of Civil Affairs: A murderer who was about to be executed said he had hundreds of dollars to donate before he left. Will the charitable organization accept it? 


The second level is the violation of existing laws by entrepreneurs. I don't think it's fair to negate an entrepreneur's past philanthropy due to breaking the law and think that all the philanthropy he has done are fake. There are many reasons for committing the crime, but we can't simply and rudely conclude that his philanthropy is problematic. The merits and demerits cannot be offset. Don't assume this person is perfect because of one of his advantages, similarly, Don't deny a person even though he commits a crime. If he does do something wrong, even a crime, the freedom of law to punish him, but if his philanthropy projects are good for society, then we need to recognize his philanthropy. So I think we should treat them differently. 

For a long time, we have been demanding too much of philanthropy. In the public awareness, both philanthropy and public welfare, all cover the moral halo that cannot be tainted, hoping that the moral standard of the employees can be higher than that of the ordinary people. Once the public discovers that the charitable people have a dark side, they will be surprised. "I hope that philanthropy will not be an 'altar'," said Cong Fei, then the winner of Touching China. "Once you get up, you can't get down. It will become an 'chancel'. When you go up, it's sacred. You can still be ordinary people when you come down." 

This is a transition, though it will be difficult. But I have been advocating for public philanthropy and mass philanthropy to show that every one of us, even those who have faults, can do philanthropy. 

"The Era of Blowout of Philanthropy Projects is Coming" 

Southern Weekly: Entrepreneurs and businesses can be an important force for social responsibility and social progress. When can we have pioneers and heavyweights like Bill Gates and Warren E. Buffett in the field of philanthropy? 

Wang Zhenyao: First of all, we must be optimistic. Chinese people have a long history of philanthropy. For example, Fan Li, who had lost all his wealth during the Spring and Autumn Period and the Warring States Period, went to Shanghai and Henan to help and accept Jews during the Second World War. In fact, philanthropy has blended in with the traditions and spirits of our nation. 



Up to now, our entrepreneur Mr. Niu Gensheng has been committing himself to donating property as early as 2003 and 2004, even before Bill Gates' "Pledge of Donation". Over the years, he has been working with other Chinese entrepreneurs to promote philanthropy, public welfare and corporate social responsibility. In recent years, more and more Chinese entrepreneurs have joined the "Pledge of Donation" under the influence of this group of pioneers. 

I think that in the next 5 to 10 years, philanthropy projects will experience fast and concentrated development. With the improvement of people's living standard and social civilization and the rapid development of various social undertakings such as children and elderly care, future philanthropy and social responsibility will have a broader development space and stage in the future. 




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