What do you reckon is the tactic used recently in China to squeeze donations out of foreign companies? Humiliation... yes, you are right, thats what the local media in China is doing to pressure the foreign companies to increase their donations.
By Tuesday this week, foreign companies had donated 1.2 billion yuan ($175 million) in cash, plus supplies worth 108 million yuan ($15.5 million), according to the government.
Despite that, nationalistic Chinese Web surfers who react angrily to any perceived slight to their country have accused foreign companies of failing to provide enough help.
A posting on popular search engine Baidu.com's blog service listed corporate donations and said they were smaller than those after the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. Comments on online bulletin boards criticized McDonald's Corp., Yum Brands Inc.'s KFC restaurants, Toyota Motor Corp., Nokia, South Korea's Samsung Electronics Corp. and French retailer Carrefour SA.
In fact Sina has created a page on their site providing latest updates on how much had been donated and even ranked them with the company's logos. This is really pathetic and making a mockery out of the whole idea of donation. I m sure many of you would agree that making donation isnt like a competition but whats happening in China is everybody is now competing as to who can donate more. And when your donations arent substantial enough, you will be made a subject of humiliation.
There were several catastrophes that had taken place all over the world from Sept 11, the Asian Tsunami and even the latest typhoon that had hit Myanmar killing more than 100,000 victims. What about donations to Myanmar? The devastation in Myanmar is probably of a bigger magnitude but nobody seem to talk about it now as the media coverage had shifted to China. I admit its difficult time for everybody especially for the victims but the media had certainly played a big role in turning this into a mockery.
I worked in a multinational based in China who had made several contributions to the Sichuan earthquake both monetary and also indirect contributions like mobile phones and SIM cards. On top of making a direct monetary contribution, our company and its staff had initiated a company-wide project to collect donations from all the employees.
Booths were setup in all our offices to collect donations from the staff. The company had also created special bank account to allow us to make direct donations from our bank account. The company had also committed to match dollar for dollar for all the donations coming from the employees. If these were not good enough, i m not sure what can be regarded as sufficient. And i m sure all the other foreign companies based in China are doing all they can to help out the victims afterall most of the employees are local Chinese who may have friends or relatives living in the affected areas.
The focus now should be on the survival and rebuilding of the affected areas. Life must continue no matter how difficult it may be for the victims and credit must go to everybody who are involved in the rescue efforts especially the Chinese goverment who had been playing the major role from day 1.