Chinese public once again were enraged by the exposure of organizations spending large amount of public money on recreation. This time is Red Cross, where people’s donation goes to. An invoice was disclosed on Weibo showing that Shanghai Luwan district Red Cross spent ¥9859 ($1522) on a meal in a high-end restaurant, in which average consumption per person is ¥500 ($80). Outraged public questioned Red Cross Shanghai ‘you ate my donation?!’
Shanghai Red Cross promised to investigate the issue and responded on April 16, saying that the money was spent on official reception and was part of their operating expenses, not from public donations. However, it’s notorious that Chinese government and public institutions spend large amount of public money on official receptions and reimbursing employees’ expenditures, especially those executives’. The ‘official reception’ that Luwan district Red Cross reported to spend money on is a huge grey area that governments spend thousands of millions of public money on. Shanghai Red Cross receives subsidies from Shanghai government, and the employees are equivalent to national civil servants.
Public were even more angry this time because Red Cross is supposed to be a charity that stands for honest, transparent and reputation. According to the 2010 China’s charity transparency report, 90% of interviewees felt that they were not informed enough of charities’ usage of donations, charity projects’ results and where did the donations go.
Similar news of a Sinopec manager spend 1.68 million on luxury liquor purchase is another disclosed case of the privileged spending public money. Petroleum Industry is state owned industry and Sinopec is one of the few monopolized leading petroleum company. Sinopec once again raised the gasoline prices this April 7 due to the rising cost while a Sinopec manager drink a bottle of 420-thousand wine in his dining room.