Chen Guangbiao: Philanthropy or Publicity?

Just recently, Chinese businessman Chen Guangbiao advertised in the New York Times – inviting underprivileged Americans to a charity lunch and offering cash handouts as reported by the CNN.

Loeb Boathouse at New York Central Park. June 25. Charity lunch. $300 for each of the 1,000 poor Americans.

According to Chen, “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. I can’t bear the sight of it.”

Nonetheless, though Chen has been donating to various causes for years, there are still those who doesn’t believe in the sincerity of what he’s doing even the Chinese themselves.

And yes, incidentally, Chen also wanted but failed to buy the New York Times which he felt could play a role in developing closer ties between the U.S. and China. Understandably, many would look at this in another way.

This brings us to the top and bottom of things – the June 25 charity lunch and media control. Could he be just doing this lunch as part of his promotional caravan to get another shot at the New York Times? The Wall Street Journal or the Washington Post? But he’s done a lot of charitable stuff and donations already. Key then would be – what did he do after “giving away” his time and cash?

Chen Guangbiao is another good example of what rich people could actually do with their money and influence. However, sincerity could only be felt if he does his charitable acts anonymously.

More so, leading by example is more than just spraying a fire extinguisher’s liquid in your mouth – a Leader should understand that social responsibility is not something you toy around with. You have to be serious, sustaining, and without the slightest of publicity in mind.

What’s your take?