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China technology

China crowdfunding platform closes down driver who asked for money to help bury his accident victims

Easy Raising said the project did not meet its application requirements

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 18 July, 2018, 3:45pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 18 July, 2018, 3:45pm

Crowdfunding platform Easy Raising, known in Chinese as Qing Song Chou, closed down a project involving a driver who sought to raise money for the burials of four victims he ran over, according to local media reports in Chengdu where the fatal accident occurred.

The driver, Yang Long, set a fundraising target of 200,000 yuan (US$30,000) for his crowdfunding project with a title of “I killed four [with a car while driving] and cannot afford the burial fees. Please help me!”

Yang received 23,900 yuan from 1,215 donors during July 10, after posting his crowdfunding plea two days after he killed four people in a car accident. “I am only twenty-four years old … I do not want to go to jail,” Yang said in the project introduction. “I’ve just started my own small business. I cannot afford burial fees for the victims. I hope donors can help me as well as the bereaved families to get through this difficult time.”

However, Easy Raising deleted the project later that day, saying it didn’t meet [crowdfunding] application requirements. Yang admitted it wasn’t proper to raise money for such an issue after the donation link was deleted but one donor said he supported Yang’s efforts to raise money through the platform because Yang hadn’t crashed in to the people on purpose, according to the local media reports. Other posters said Yang should take responsibility for his own mistakes.

People in China with medical needs are increasingly turning to the internet for financial help when they cannot afford the rising cost of health care. On crowdfunding platforms, people seeking funds typically have to write a detailed project introduction to win trust and trigger donations. Friends can re-post donation links via WeChat Moments, a “friends” function within the giant WeChat social messaging network.

Established in 2014, China-based Easy Raising has 550 million registered users in 183 countries. According to a report from China market research platform iResearch, 1.6 million Easy Raising users raised 200 million yuan by the end of June 2018.

Although crowdfunding has become popular among the younger generation, donations remain low in China relative to other countries. In 2014, total giving in China was about one-twentieth of that in the US and per capita donations were even lower. In the 2015 World Giving Index, China ranked 144 among 145 countries.