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One of China’s Richest Women Zhai Meiqin Hopes to Keep Driving Culture of Philanthropy

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The story of Zhai Meiqin's selection as a winner of the 2017 Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy is told on the HeungKong Group website, VOA
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  • Zhai Meiqin is one of China’s richest women and president of the privately owned Heoungkong Group Ltd
  • Zhai broke new ground in 2005 by establishing China’s first nonprofit charitable foundation
  • Zhai, 53, was one of nine philanthropists named Thursday as winners of the 2017 Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy

London, June 25, 2017: After starting work in a hotel kitchen, Zhai Meiqin began selling furniture and built a billion-dollar conglomerate, but she took great pride in being recognized this week for driving a new phenomenon in China: philanthropy.

Zhai, one of China’s richest women and president of the privately owned Heoungkong Group Ltd., said she never forgot her humble upbringing in Guangzhou in southern China, where her father was an architect and her mother worked in a store.

This made her determined to help others, and she started donating to charity shortly after setting up the business with her husband in 1990.

As their business grew, taking in real estate, financial investment and health care, Zhai broke new ground in 2005 by establishing China’s first nonprofit charitable foundation.

Since then, the HeungKong Charitable Foundation has helped an estimated 2 million people, by funding 1,500 libraries, providing loans for women to start businesses, and funding orphans, single mothers, handicapped children and the elderly.

“I realized there were a lot of poor people in China and this drove me to earn more money so I could help them,” said Zhai, 53, who was one of nine philanthropists named Thursday as winners of the 2017 Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy.

Zhai and her husband, Liu Zhiqiang, whose HeungKong Group with 20,000 staffers has made them worth about $1.4 billion, according to Forbes magazine, are known for being leaders of the culture of philanthropy in China.

Their foundation was listed as number 001 by the Ministry of Civil Affairs. Zhai said at the end of 2015 there were 3,300 registered nonprofit charitable foundations in China.

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Next generation

“By setting up the foundation, I wanted to encourage other people, other entrepreneurs, to also donate to charity,” she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation in a phone interview from Guangzhou translated by her daughter.

“Now I want to make sure that the next generation continues this culture of philanthropy in China,” she added, with two of her four children taking an active role in her foundation.

The other philanthropists to win the Carnegie Medal — which was established in 2001 and is awarded every two years — came from around the globe.

The list included India’s education-focused Azim Premji, Canadian-born social enterprise pioneer Jeff Skoll and American-Australian lawyer and former World Bank Group President James Wolfensohn.

The winners were chosen by a committee made up of seven people representing some of the 22 Carnegie institutions in the United States and Europe. (VOA)

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Rules for Live Streaming Get More Strict in China

It requires real-name registration of live stream viewers and blacklisting of live stream anchors who violate the regulations

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The live streaming industry has been in focus since February in the ongoing operations targeting online pornographic content. Pixabay

Chinese authorities have increased regulation on live stream services, the National Office Against Pornographic and Illegal Publications (NOAPIP) has said.

A notice was jointly issued by six departments clarifying the responsibilities of live stream service providers, network service providers and application stores, Xinhua news agency reported.

The live streaming industry has been in focus since February in the ongoing operations targeting online pornographic content.

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A notice was jointly issued by six departments clarifying the responsibilities of live stream.

Live-stream service providers should complete the Internet Content Provider (ICP) filing, gain certificates for news services, online shows and live streams, and report to local police within 30 days after a show is broadcast.

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It also requires real-name registration of live stream viewers and blacklisting of live stream anchors who violate the regulations. (IANS)