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Jet Li's One Foundation Raises Over 90 Million Yuan for Ya'an Earthquake

Economic Observer Online
By Pang Lijing (庞丽静)
Apr 23, 2013
Translated by Liu Jingyue
Original article: [Chinese]

After a long career as a martial arts movie star, in 2007 Jet Li (李连杰) put his acting career on the backburner and turned to philanthropy.

Li, who was born in Beijing but is now a naturalized Singaporean citizen, first established the One Foundation Project in April 2007. However, it was only after various trials and tribulations that in 2011 he was able to turn the One Foundation into one of China's first private charities.

In the early hours of this morning, the One Foundation announced via its official Weibo account that as of midnight on Apr 22 (Monday), a total of 610,000  donations had been made by individuals and companies via online donation platforms set up on various popular internet portals like Sina, Tencent and Tmall. The One Foundation had received more than 46 million yuan in donations through these online platforms and a further 44 million yuan in bank transfers.

Jet Li also gave updates on the assistance that was arriving in the disaster zone via his own Weibo account.

Early media reports compared the over 10 million yuan that the One Foundation had collected by 8pm on the evening of the quake to the 140,000 yuan that the Red Cross Society of China was said to have received by 7pm on the same evening. Some commentators linked this early discrepancy to the effect of the Guo Meimei (郭美美) scandal of two years ago.

Public trust towards China Red Cross suffered a major blow after a social media frenzy surrounding a young lady with the Weibo handle "Guo Meimei Baby" who claimed to be connected to the charity posted images of her lavish lifestyle on the social media platform. It was later revealed that she had no connection to the Red Cross. The scandal exposed a lack of transparency in the operations of the charity. An announcement that China Red Cross Society had dispatched a team to investigate the situation on the ground that was posted to their official Weibo account attracted more than 100,000 comments, many of them telling the charity where to go.

However, as of 5pm this afternoon, the China Red Cross Society had received over 235 million yuan in donations, according to their website.

As of 6am this morning, authorities say that the strong earthquake that hit a mountainous region in the western Chinese province of Sichuan on Saturday morning had led to 193 deaths, 25 missing and 12,211 injured.

Those interested in donating to the relief efforts can find more information here.

Links and Sources
The Economic Observer Online: 壹基金公布账目 雅安地震已得善款超3100万
The Economic Observer Online: 红会副会长:先救灾,暂不理会网络舆情
One Foundation(壹基金): Official Website
Caixin Online: One Foundation, Charities Finally Take Flight
Sina Weibo: One Foundation Account
Sina Weibo: Jet Li\'s Account


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