Chinese E-commerce Company Supports Poverty Alleviation Initiative

December 4, 2014 | Print | Email Email | Comments | Category: Business & Society, Giving








Chinese e-commerce company JD.com is working on a crowdfunding platform to support the ongoing work for an international non-government organization.

JD.com has partnered with Grameen China, the China-based entity of Grameen Trust, a non-profit and non-government organization committed to the cause of poverty alleviation.

The strange announcement from JD.com states the partnership will use JD.com's crowdfunding platform to raise money to establish Grameen China's ground operations, and future cooperation will likely also use the platform to provide micro-loans for entrepreneurs in rural areas of China, which have been underserved by the traditional banking system.

But from ChinaCSR.com's decade-plus experience covering NGOs and charities in China, Grameen China already appeared established in China. ChinaCSR.com staff attended a few past events in China over the last decade to continue to raise money for Grameen's efforts in China, and ChinaCSR.com staff have communicated with Grameen staff in China multiple times over the years.

So it is odd why this is an establishment of operations, and why the announcement made no mention of seemingly-extensive past efforts in China by Grameen. Did those efforts fail?

International NGOs can not easily register and operate in China. NGOs must usually either find a local government sponsor or come into China as a corporate entity with sufficient capitalization. The corporate entity method usually runs against the charters for many global NGOs, so they choose to operate in a grey zone in China with staff illegally paid or hired through third parties. So this new deal with JD.com may be a renewed effort to legally establish Grameen's base in China.

JD Crowdfunding was launched on July 1, 2014, and has collected more than CNY100 million for innovative projects. Grameen will use this backbone to drive its apparent renewed establishment in China.


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