A philanthropist Yu Panglin from Shenzhen, Guangdong Province topped the 2008 list of China's Most Generous Billionaires for the third year in a row, according to the Hurun Philanthropy List released in Shanghai on Wednesday.
Yu, founder of the five-star Shenzhen Panglin Hotel, donated 3 billion yuan (US3 million) last year to a foundation set up for cataract sufferers. He is also the most senior billionaire to make it to the list.
Yu launched the nationwide Panglin Brightness Action campaign in 2004, to provide free surgery for up to 150,000 cataract sufferers in poor areas over a five-year period. The campaign has reportedly provided free cataract surgery to more than 100,000 people so far.
Yu was followed by Zhu Mengyi, also known as Chu Mang Yee, chairman of the Guangzhou-based property developer Hopson Development Holdings Ltd. and Huang Rulun, chairman of the Jinyuan Hotel Group in Fujian.
Zhu had given stock worth 1.1 billion yuan to an education and development fund last year, while Huang donated 850 million yuan. The list did not mention the recipient of Huang¡¯s donation, saying only that education, social welfare and poverty reduction attracted the most donors.
According to the list, 27 donors each gave more than 100 million yuan last year, compared to 15 in 2007. ¡°With a good policy environment, including preferential policies in taxation and legislation, China saw further development in charity causes last year,¡± said Briton Rupert Hoogewerf when releasing the report. Hoogewerf is the founder and compiler of the Hurun Report.
¡°More and more wealthy people are setting up their own charitable funds and the whole of society is paying more attention to charity,¡± said Hoogewerf. His list draws on a survey covering 2,500 entrepreneurs on the Chinese mainland. It also refers to news reports and data from various foundations.
The country¡¯s top 100 philanthropists had given away 12.9 billion yuan last year, according to the lists.