China’s social credit system takes on fake charities, announces state media

Editor’s Note

This is CDB’s translation of an article that originally appeared in the Guangming Daily (光明日报) on the 26th of February. 


Kindness and love are where philanthropy begins. If there is fraud, it will not only do harm to the people’s interests but also be devastating to social trust. Hence as the government department for administration and registration of charitable organizations, the Ministry of Civil Affairs, alongside the civil affairs departments at all levels, has taken measures to strengthen supervision, improve service, and tackle illegal behaviors alongside other departments. 

Supervising charitable organizations’ daily operations is one of the most important duties for the Ministry of Civil Affairs. To establish a social credit system for charitable organizations and implement joint rewards for the trustworthy and joint disciplinary action against the untrustworthy in the field of charitable donations, a memorandum of cooperation has been jointly signed by 40 departments including the National Development and Reform Commission and the Ministry of Civil Affairs. It has established credit information sharing mechanisms in the field of charitable donations, bringing this field into the scope of the social credit system.

According to the Ministry of Civil Affairs, 58 trustworthy charitable organizations had been added to a red list and eight untrustworthy ones had been added to a black (grey) list by the end of 2018. Opportunely sharing this information, as well as jointly motivating and disciplining, and realizing the people’s supervision, will also serve as an example and a warning for other relevant social organizations.

At the same time, the Ministry of Civil Affairs also tackles illegal behavior promptly, not only reducing the loss for the people and protecting the good reputation of the philanthropy sector, but also causing some charitable organizations to realize the harm of their illegal behaviors and suspend or rectify them in time. Besides, an official “notice” published by the Ministry of Civil Affairs in 2018 requires local civil affairs departments to improve charitable medical aid through thorough inspections.

A responsible official from the ministry said: “as a next step, the Ministry of Civil Affairs will speed up the completion of the joint law enforcement mechanism, the complaints and reporting mechanism and the public exposure mechanism, especially improving the utilization of the credit management methods, and with the collaboration of other departments, promote the establishment of measures to sanction untrustworthiness in the charity sector, ensuring that if fake charities “lose credit once, they will be restricted everywhere”.”

Translated by Haosong Chen(CDB)

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