(Yicai Global) Feb. 7 -- He Xiangjian, founder of appliance maker Midea Group Co., was the most philanthropic Chinese entrepreneur last year after donating CNY6.8 billion (USD1.1 billion) to charity, twice as much as the second-largest donor.
Xu Jiayin, chairman of property giant China Evergrande Group, followed up in second at CNY3.4 billion and Lu Zhiqiang, chairman of investment firm China Oceanwide Holdings Group Co., took bronze with donations worth CNY1.3 billion, according to rankings released yesterday by Beijing Normal University.
The 100 donors on the list donated almost 39 percent less than in 2016 at CNY23.3 billion. Some CNY5.6 billion made its way into poverty relief and CNY5.54 billion went toward higher education while a fifth of the tycoons sent money to their former schools.
Donations were higher than several recent years and charitable trusts and equity donations are becoming popular options for giving, said Prof. Fu Changbo, who manages the standings, adding that government policies could help China's charity sector become more professional. The 2017 list was the university's seventh annual donor ranking.
The only mogul from an internet firm to make the top 10 was online marketplace JD.Com Inc.'s founder Richard Liu and his wife, who came in 10th. China's online businesses are home to some of the country's richest and best-known entrepreneurs, including Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. founder Jack Ma and Tencent Holdings Ltd. founder Pony Ma, who topped the list last year after giving away almost CNY17 billion.
Businessmen from Guangdong proved the most generous, making up 35 of the 100-strong list with 15 donating more than CNY100 million. Beijing, Shanghai and Zhejiang completed the top four in a table that had few tycoons from central or western China.