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Amy Lieberman interviewed Mei Hing Chak (also known as Meiqing Zhai), founder and president of the Heung Kong Group, about her journey in philanthropy. This is part of a six-week Devex series on China’s
“expanding role in aid and development across the globe.”
The Heung Kong Group is a conglomerate founded in 1990 that engages in furniture retailing and logistics, real estate development, commercial construction, natural resources, education, healthcare, and finance. In 2005, the Heung Kong Group initiated the first (but not the largest) non-publicly sourced charitable foundation in China—the Heung Kong Charitable Foundation.
Another priority for Mei Hing Chak is to influence China’s young people to get involved in philanthropy. That is a worthy goal, inasmuch as China’s philanthropic potential is massive. China has 319 billionaires, second only to the United States’ 565. China has the newest billionaires.
As China enters into its first Gilded Age, philanthropists there may do well to also invest in professionalizing the governance and management processes of Chinese social organizations, to help create the country’s first independent sector.