Real estate billionaires Pan Shiyi and Zhang Xin are drawing fire on Chinese social media for giving $15-million to Harvard University as part of a $100-million fund to support scholarships for disadvantaged Chinese students at elite schools worldwide, Agence France-Presse and Forbes report.
Critics took to Sina Weibo, the Chinese equivalent of Twitter, to blast the husband-and-wife founders of property firm SOHO China for not focusing their education giving on students in their home country. Aobo Dong of Vocal Mentorship for New Immigrant Students, which assists young Asians applying to U.S. colleges, said improving educational conditions for the poor in China would have a greater impact than "just providing the scholarship."
Ms. Zhang defended the SOHO China Scholarships program on her own Weibo account, writing that without funding for needy students, top-flight education could be reserved for wealthy Chinese. "Our scholarships will change this phenomenon," she said.