He Xiangjian, founder and chairman of Foshan, Guangdong province-based home appliance-maker Midea Group, topped a list of the 100 biggest individual donors in the country last year with contributions totaling 6.79 billion yuan (.08 billion), according to a report released this week by the China Philanthropy Research Institute at Beijing Normal University.
The second-largest donor was Xu Jiayin, chairman of Evergrande Group, China's second-largest property developer by sales. He donated 3.4 billion yuan to help with poverty alleviation in Guangdong and Guizhou provinces. Lu Zhiqiang, chairman of China Oceanwide Holdings Group, contributed 1.26 billion yuan and came in third.
Starting in 2011, the list reveals that large donations have become a major trend among Chinese philanthropists. Last year, 39 percent of the individual donations were worth more than 100 million yuan each, setting the record in the past seven years.
"Charitable trusts and equity donations will become important donation tools. If the government issued relevant supporting policies, it would more effectively promote large donations," said Wang Zhenyao, professor of public welfare research and dean of the China Philanthropy Research Institute.
"Chinese philanthropists are seeking more profound social influences and values. Last year, 12 out of the 100 largest donors were women; family charity and female charity will become major impetus to push for-ward large donations."
Wang Jianlin, president of Dalian Wanda Group, is ranked No 8 on the list, with a total donation of 772 million yuan. Liu Qiangdong, founder of e-commerce shopping platform JD, donated 506 million yuan, ranking No 10.
Last year, the top 100 donations came in at a total of 23.3 billion yuan. Of the top 100, 35 come from Guangdong province, followed by those from Beijing, Shanghai and Zhejiang province, the report said.
In terms of sectors, those who work for the manufacturing industry donated nearly 10 billion yuan, ranking at the top, followed by those who work for the real estate industry, who together donated 8.8 billion yuan.
Of the total contributions, 5.6 billion yuan was donated to poverty alleviation, accounting for the largest proportion, and 5.54 billion yuan was donated to higher education, mainly for the scientific research and training programs of the talents. Among the 100 largest donors, 20 donated to their alma maters.