Summary Box: Gates, Buffett to wine and dine China’s super rich on philanthropy mission

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Summary Box: Gates, Buffett pitch charity in China

STUMPING FOR CHARITY: Microsoft Corp. co-founder Bill Gates and billionaire investor Warren Buffett will take their campaign to get the super rich to donate their money to charity to China later this month.

BIG POOL OF TARGETS: The rapid growth in China since economic reforms began 30 years ago has created an unprecedented generation of wealth. There are at least 875,000 U.S. dollar millionaires in China, including 130 billionaires. Only the U.S. has more.

NO DONATION REQUIRED: A few of the more than 50 guests invited to a dinner with Gates and Buffett have asked if they will be required to pledge, but the Americans just plan to talk about giving.

FIRST THINGS FIRST: Some say Chinese businesses should first improve workers’ rights, environmental protections and other corporate standards before worrying about making charitable donations.

ISSUE RAISES CONCERNS: From the undeveloped state of the Chinese charity system to corruption issues to suspicions that many of China’s elite have hidden cash or earned money through unscrupulous practices, the Gates-Buffett trip has opened up a series of touchy subjects.

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