Quake Shakes ‘Official’ Charities in China
From Caijing Magazine:
Hours after a May 12 earthquake disrupted the lives of 50 million people, killing 70,000, the popular Chinese Web site Bull Blog posted a detailed plan for collecting and distributing relief donations. Because the site is trusted among the country’s Internet community of netizens, more than 1 million yuan was quickly raised for supplies and volunteer support.
The contributions were deposited into several bank accounts belonging to Huang Bin, Bull Blog’s co-founder and Chief Technical officer. But within a week, authorities in the city of Chengdu froze the accounts of Huang and Du Qiao, a Bull Blog volunteer who had traveled to the quake zone. Chengdu police detained Du for “alleged fraud or illegal collections in the name of quake relief.”
Huang and his partner Luo Yonghao rushed to a Chengdu police station with receipts and other documents proving victims had indeed received all donations. Eventually, Chengdu police admitted finding no evidence of fraud and released Du. But the police also said Bull Blog organizers should funnel their quake donations through government agencies and official charities.