The Financial Times profiles Niu Gensheng, one of the first Chinese business magnates to commit to large-scale philanthropy.
When he listed his milk company, China Mengniu Dairy, on the Hong Kong exchange in 2004, Mr. Niu put virtually all of the hundreds of millions of dollars in proceeds into the Lao Niu Foundation, based in his native province of Inner Mongolia. The foundation now has about $600 million available for grants and focuses on improving education and the environment in China and elsewhere.
Mr. Niu recently became the first person from mainland China to sign the Giving Pledge. His rise from rural poverty to global philanthropy underscores the massive changes China has undergone in recent decades, the Financial Times writes, but critics contend his generosity and that of other Chinese moguls is a form of protection money, shielding rich donors from official pressure. Mr. Niu said he has to make sure his giving choices reflect the causes he embraces but also do not offend the government.