• Sun
  • Dec 21, 2014
  • Updated: 9:24pm

Multi-millionaire Chen Guangbiao invites 1,000 poor Americans to dinner in Central Park

Controversial entrepreneur sets out to change Americans’ perceptions about wealthy Chinese

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 18 June, 2014, 1:16am
UPDATED : Thursday, 26 June, 2014, 7:14am

Controversial multi-millionaire Chen Guangbiao placed a full-page advertisement in Monday’s New York Times and a half-page advertisement in Wednesday’s Wall Street Journal, inviting 1,000 underprivileged Americans to dine with him.

In the latest eye-catching campaign following his unsuccessful bid to buy The New York Times earlier this year, Chen said he would also hand out red packets of US$300 to each participant after the charity lunch in New York on June 25.

The full-page ad in Chinese and English, designed by Chen himself, summarised his views about his wealthiest compatriots and hoped that Americans would realise that not all rich Chinese were “crazy” about shopping for luxuries.

“I want to spread the message in the US that there are good philanthropists in China and not all are crazy spenders on luxury goods,” Chen told the South China Morning Post yesterday.

“At the same time, there are many wealthy Chinese billionaires but most of them gained their wealth from market speculation and colluding with government officials while destroying the environment,” Chen said. %“I can’t bear the sight of it, because all they do is splurge on luxury goods, gambling and prostitution and very few of them sincerely live up their social responsibility,” Chen said.

“I’m trying to stimulate them to do good.”

In his ad, Chen said he was “teaming up with a famous American charity to host a charity luncheon for 1,000 poor and destitute Americans, who each will receive 300 dollars”.

The underprivileged will be invited to the Boat House restaurant in New York’s Central Park on June 25, where Chen will sing We are the world in English.

“I hope they can spend the money on occupational training and know there are no religious or ethnic boundaries when it comes to charity,” he said.
Chen said more than 250 people had responded to his offer and he expected the 1,000 places to be filled in a few days.

“I believe [people’s perceptions] will change. Many of my friends in the US responded very positively after the ad was published,” Chen said.

Chen estimated that the campaign would  cost him at least US$1 million.  Chen said he would  return to the US this week to discuss a new deal to buy The New York Times’ opinion section.

“It would be a bilingual page, in Chinese and English, and the content would be my call. It would be about environmental protection and charity,” he said.

In response to criticism that he should help his poor countrymen first, Chen said doing the right thing was most important.

“US philanthropists donated to China’s disasters; why can’t we help the poor in the US? It will also improve Sino-US ties.”


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This article is now closed to comments

Chinese are clueless when it comes to public relations.
Do poor New Yorkers read the Wall Street Journal?
This event will be a total waste and end in chaos.
I can appreciate that Chen is trying to make a bigger point that is important and worthwhile, but this seems little more than a stunt aimed at generating publicity and his own self-aggrandizement. It won't make any long-term difference in the lives of the people he aims to help, which stinks because with his resources he could make a real long lasting difference. He should take a look at Gates Foundation -- they do great work in US, China and around the world.
Should have started a shelter canteen with this money, would have fed a lot more in the long run. A free lunch is always to be appreciated, but one million is actually a small sum given the publicity generated. A real charity would have been more efficient and discreet. Bill Gates doesn't go trumpet his good deeds in China in a limousine. I wonder how that would be wiewed. this is all about business as usual.
Don't do a one shot for publicity. Do it regularly and then you might be believed.
To chaz,
I think you are stereotyping people from Fujian for being poor or greedy. For your information Fujian people are hard working folks in New York City or nearby States. The possible richest immigrant Chinese could be that one Fujianese who makes and packages condiments for Chinese takeout restaurants with a fleet of trucks for national distribution.
Is he intending to start a riot in New York? Because that's what he is going to have.
Probably, as I'm guessing a huge number will be stampeding in from Chinatown and yelling and screaming in Fujianese...
NY homeless angry at China tycoon 'publicity stunt'
Quin Shabazz, 34, said he felt the homeless had been exploited and branded the lunch -- covered by a mob of TV cameras and reporters -- "a big publicity stunt."
Can I get this free meal if I jump on the next flight to USA too?!
Sounds like someone out to get some publicity or not really knowing how to put their $$$ to real use.
As raised in an earlier comment, there will be some credibility if this was done, no strings attached, on a regular basis.
Well that’s nice I am glad for them to get a meal! I wish I knew how to reach someone like that… I would love a tiny home with a good hiding place. I have not slept right since I was raped. If I ever come into money I am going to help people like myself. If you are raped go to a psychiatrist or support group. That’s it talking about it. How about a charity that puts bars on our windows and locking storm doors so we can let fresh air in our homes or sleep well. I have dreamed of my perfect home and it has a basement for storms with bars and hiding places JUST in case.



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