Chen Guangbiao, the renowned Chinese philanthropist famous for his unorthodox, un-subtle approach to charity (he’s been known to make it rain on the less fortunate, hongbao style), has made headlines this week for taking his flashy show on the road to Japan. The only thing more overwhelming than the ostentatious nature of the visit (see flag-draped escort, flag-pinned suits, Mao-esque poses above) is how genuinely impressive it is.
From WSJ RealTimeReport:
Chen Guangbiao, a 42-year-old billionaire and chief executive of recycling company Jiangsu Huangpu Renewable Resources, headed to Japan Friday to personally donate rescue supplies and 13 million yen (US$158,820) to the country’s earthquake and tsunami victims, according to the Yangtze Evening News (in Chinese).
With four vans draped in Chinese national flags and wearing a suit decorated with Chinese flag stickers, Mr. Chen distributed food, water, sanitary goods, blankets and “good wishes from Chinese people” to shelters in the northeastern Japanese prefectures of Chiba, Ibaraki and Fukushima, the report said. He personally pulled three people from destroyed homes, the report said without elaborating further.
Reportedly, Chen purchased 30 tons of relief materials for the trip. He handed out a total of about 2 million yen, giving 1,000 yen and 100 yuan each to students gathering street-side with donation boxes. He stuffed his name card in as well for good measure.
Chen has inevitably faced some harsh criticism online, as anti-Japanese sentiments flare during the crisis (something dumb people are doing the world over) and many Chinese demand why he isn’t in Yunnan helping Yingjiang earthquake victims.
That may be why today Chen flew directly from Tokyo to Yunnan in order to assist with the earthquake recovery efforts, after being forced to leave Fukushima in the face of increasing radiation risks.
Here’s a guy who runs straight into the heart of disaster, whips out the fliff like mad for a few days, pulls some people from the rubble, has to evacuate due to radiation risk, then flies straight over to another disaster area. Say what you will about philanthropic showmanship, this guy’s got balls.
Photos from Chen Guangbiao’s Sina Weibo.
UPDATE: See photos from Chen Guangbiao’s philanthropy roadshow in Yingjiang, Yunnan here.