In China, people can donate their walking mileage on WeChat to participate in public welfare. What they need is simply walk over 10,00 steps (approx. 5 miles) each day to be eligible for donations, and Tencent Foundation will transform these mileages into actual monetary donations to the organizations in need.
This is a great example of public welfare embraces digital technology. In this case, it is Tencent Foundation’s WeChat mini program that bridges the needs of charity organizations with the donations of millions of citizens.
As the internet and digital technology evolve, we now have so many ways to “do good” and participate in charity events online.
Livestreaming, for instance, not only gathers up to millions of audiences instantly but also helps people understand the cause of a donation clearly – it has proven to be one of the most effective ways to promote charity events, especially during the post-pandemic era when many countries are still concerned about the spread of COVID-19 among large offline gatherings.
In 2020, CCTV News held a livestream charity event, “Thank You for Putting Group Orders for Hubei”, to sell goods and products from the rural areas of Hubei province at a wholesale price. The number of viewers exceeded 10 million and the two-hour sales surpassed 40 million yuan (approx. $6.27 million USD), making it an excellent example of innovation in public welfare.
In the recently held China Internet Public Welfare Summit in Chongqing, China, the committee also made the summit go live so that thousands of audiences outside the stadium could watch the leaders from the tech industry and international organizations giving speeches about how the current digital tools can assist the work of environmental protection, industrial digitalization, and improve the life of citizens.
Indeed, when monetary donations cannot directly solve the problems of those in need, technologies come to the rescue. In Jiangjin, Chongqing, for instance, a fish rescue team called “Honghu” successfully lowered the crime rate of illegal fishing and improved their work efficiency in tracking endangered species through employing remote image capture devices, drones, nano chip implants, ultrasound receivers, and more.
Besides the current use of digital technology in public welfare, the summit also envisioned the future digital trends of charity works in China. One obvious forecast would be the internet serving as the increasingly popular medium connecting the donors and the charity organizations.
“In recent years, the annual growth rates of the donations received by the 20 Internet Fundraising Platforms designated by the Ministry of Civil Affairs have all exceeded 20 per cent,” said Wang Aiwen, Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Civil Affairs of China, in his opening address for the summit, “In 2020, the amount raised reached 8.2 billion yuan (approx. $1.28 billion USD), an increase of 52% comparing to 2019. In 2019 and 2020, there were more than 10 billion clicks, follows and participations regarding Internet philanthropy.”