Chen Guangbiao aka “the most influential person of China“/”most prominent philanthropist in China,” and all around ‘humble’ guy, is inviting 1,000 of America’s poor out to lunch on yet another of this famous publicity stunts in New York next week. And if that wasn’t enough, he promises to pay them each $300!
The man who made his millions through recycling but is definitely better known for more bizarre ventures – selling air in a can and getting run over for the environment – is now trying to spread the message to the US that “there’s more to China’s wealthy than corruption and luxury goods” in light of Western criticisms.
He placed an ad in the New York Times (of course) inviting 1000 “poor and destitute” US citizens to lunch on June 25th. And after feeding them at the Central Park’s Boathouse restaurant, he will also give them $300 for their trouble. Tempting no doubt.
Chen’s New York Times advertisement. [Via jimromenesko.com]
Though with nearly half the city in or near poverty, “it is unclear how many New Yorkers want to be involved in a wealthy foreigner’s publicity stunt” said Quartz. If you are planning to attend though, do make sure you RSVP via email first (for all those poverty stricken individuals that have access to a computer/email).
If the food and the money wasn’t enough, Chen has also promised to sing “We are the World” during the sitting. Yay. The pricey luncheon, where “fish and chips” costs $26 and a bread basket is $12, is apparently a continuation of Chen’s plan to “fill the world with love” through charity. As well as give him ample time to talk about how he is just like Lei Feng, the “selfless People’s Liberation Army soldier and philanthropist”.
Chen hopes to spur other rich Chinese to help the less fortunate despite his view on them being pretty bleak. He said “There are many wealthy Chinese billionaires, but most of them gained their wealth from market speculation and colluding with government officials while destroying the environment” to the South China Morning Post.
Whether this publicity stunt will get of the ground remains to be seen as of yet, but if the attempt at purchasing The New York Times is anything to go on, we’re not so sure.
[Main image via news.cn]
By Sophie Regan