Celebrity philanthropy in China: Reconfiguring government and non-government roles in national development

Publication Type:
Journal Article
China Quarterly, 2019, 237 pp. 217 - 240
Issue Date:
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© 2018 SOAS University of London. This article provides the first comprehensive analysis of the development of, and public responses to, celebrity-fronted philanthropy in the People's Republic of China. It explores the extent and nature of celebrity philanthropy with reference to a sample of mainland Chinese celebrities in entertainment and sports. It then draws on interviews conducted with employees of large charities to examine the kinds of links that are being forged between China's not-for-profit sector and commercial organizations managing the work of celebrities. Finally, it analyses the responses to a national survey on celebrity and philanthropy. We conclude that the relationship between China's government, not-for-profit and celebrity sectors is becoming more professionalized and organized. This development reveals how the roles and capacities of government are being reconfigured and expanded, even as it also enhances the scope for action and the influence of new social actors and organizations to address government-led national development issues.
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