Chinese billionaire to donate entire fortune

September 7th, 2010 - 5:05 pm ICT by IANS  

Beijing, Sep 7 (IANS) A billionaire has pledged to donate his entire fortune to charity after his death, becoming the first in China to do so.
Chen Guangbiao, chairman of Jiangsu Huangpu Renewable Resources Utilisation, took the decision to give up his mammoth wealth on a charity call made by Microsoft founder Bill Gates and investment baron Warren Buffett.

Chen said in an open letter to Gates and Buffett posted on his company website Sunday that he would donate his entire fortune of more than five billion yuan ($735 million) to charity when he dies, the China Daily reported Tuesday.

Since they launched the ‘Giving Pledge Campaign’ in June this year, Gates and Buffett have so far successfully convinced 40 US billionaires to donate at least half of their wealth, worth $125 billion, to charity.

Gates is also the founder of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The duo are scheduled to travel to China in late September for a philanthropic gathering with the Chinese businessmen and industrialists. Fifty Chinese, including Chen, are reported to have received an invitation to a banquet during the pair’s visit to Beijing Sep 29.

In his letter, 42-year-old Chen said he was “greatly moved” by the duo’s commitment to charity and “pleased to accept the invitation”.

He said his decision to part with his fortune was intended to serve as a “gift” to the business magnates during their trip to China.

Chen’s announcement has come amid the widespread belief that many of the Chinese billionaires who have been invited to the banquet are reluctant to accept the invitation out of concern over being lobbied to make charity promises.

Ye Lei, the Chinese director of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, last week denied the rumour that the duo aim to persuade Chinese billionaires to part with their fortunes.

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