Sina Weibo launches new charity platform
Updated: 2012-11-12 17:18
By He Dan (chinadaily.com.cn)
Sina Weibo, the popular Chinese social website often compared to Twitter, is to allow nearly 1 million of its verified users to initiate charity programs by posting messages on an updated charity platform.
The new version of Sina Micro-charities enables verified micro-bloggers to publish information for people in need of help, including themselves.
A team of five volunteers (who will be randomly chosen among 255 senior micro-bloggers by the system) will be responsible for verifying the authenticity of the information within 48 hours.
After that, charity programs will be made public on Sina Weibo’s philanthropy sector and the system will help to match them with appropriate organizations.
Sina Weibo claims to have around 368 million users including more than 520,000 verified individual users and about 400,000 verified organizations, according to its most recent financial report.
Bei Xiaochao, Sina’s social responsibility director, said the company introduced the platform dedicated for micro-charities on Sina Weibo in February, and so far it has helped initiate about 1,400 charity programs and raise more than 10 million yuan ($1.6 million).
Lu Chao is among those who have received help.
The 23-year-old was diagnosed with leukemia earlier this year, and had been writing diary-style microblogs about her treatment under the nickname “Lu Ruoqing”.
Just as she was about to give up on her plans for a stem cell transplantation, due to the expected 400,000 yuan ($63,580) cost, an online celebrity reposted her microblogs, calling for help from others online.
Xue Manzi, a well-known investor started a fundraising program on Sina Weibo aimed at raising 1 million yuan for Lu, in cooperation with China Youth Development Foundation, a Beijing-based public foundation.
The target was reached in just three days, thanks to tens of thousands of warm-hearted supporters.
Lu is recovering well after a successful stem cell transplant surgery in Beijing in July.Bei from Sina said the updated platform for micro-charities will encourage more micro-bloggers to participate in such philanthropy.