ByteDance’s Charitable Project Raises Public Doubt
On August 1, ByteDance’s public welfare platform made a live presentation for its first “DOU Public Welfare Day” event to be held on September 5. However, the announcement has aroused doubts from insiders.
He Bin, a reporter from China Philanthropist magazine, mentioned in a report on August 8 that a person in the public welfare field had said that her organization was blocked from ByteDance’s event since they were involved in the medical assistance field.
The rules published by ByteDance stipulated that the public welfare projects participating in the activity should meet its review standards. The company is encouraging organizations involved with solving public, non-specific social problems and sustainable solutions, while also proposing that the event does not support temporary and short-term projects in the field of medical assistance and emergency assistance.
It is not only a certain type of public welfare project that are excluded, but also some strict access requirements were proposed. There are eight requirements in total. In addition to the qualification of public welfare organizations, the implementation time and number of projects, organizations wishing to join the event are required to release at least one effective fundraising video of no less than 15 seconds during the period. This puts forward higher requirements for the fundraising of public welfare organizations.
The campaign calls on the public to “do good deeds on Douyin on September 5” to bring in unlimited donations for the projects proposed by public welfare organizations. Public and non-public fundraising organizations that cooperate in fundraising are required to mobilize more people to learn about the project in order to receive donations.
The project initiators can create a team and invite “facilitators” who will then get an “invitation code”. By sharing the “invitation code” to invite any user to participate in the activity, the organization will receive the corresponding donation amount.
Although all users can obtain rewards after binding the invitation code, new registrants can secure their organization 20 yuan ($2.95) worth of a donation, while previously registered users can only provide 1 yuan support. In addition, the same user can only be bound to one public welfare project.
The reporter of China Philanthropist magazine said that this does not conform to the ethics and laws of public welfare. As a popular platform, if the public interest appeal is too closely related to its own commercial interests, it may pose a challenge to public interest ethics. Seven years ago, Tencent spent 99.99 million yuan to launch its own three-day “99 Charity Day”, which initially aimed to fundraise for grassroots projects. But legal troubles began to appear. Since then, Tencent has refined its rules each year, no longer targeting fundraising quotas, but bringing in more participants.
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China Philanthropist magazine is approved by the State Press and Publication Administration and headed by the China News Service. It provides the creators and managers of wealth with in-depth reports and analysis on wealth, charity and social issues.