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Breakfast with China Multi-Millionaire Philanthropist Chen Guangbiao (陈光标)

Breakfast with China Multi-Millionaire Philanthropist Chen Guangbiao (陈光标)
I took a picture with Chen Guangbiao, together with three other bloggers

I took a picture with Chen Guangbiao, together with three other bloggers

On a hot Sunday morning (3 Mar 2013), I had the privilege to meet China multi-millionaire philanthropist Chen Guangbiao (陈光标) for breakfast at Bedok interchange Hawker Centre. Together with me were four other bloggers, Smith, Claire, Tech and Darren.

(Clockwise from left) Darren, Claire, Smith and Tech with Chen Guangbiao

(Clockwise from left) Darren, Claire, Smith and Tech with Chen Guangbiao

Chen answering the bloggers on questions they posed

Chen answering the bloggers on questions they posed

Casual breakfast meeting with Chen Guangbiao

Casual breakfast meeting with Chen Guangbiao

You can read their respective blog posts via omy Blog Club to find out the questions they posed to Chen and their impressions of him and his way of doing charity.

For a quick background read on who Chen Guangbiao is, please this previous blog post.

I did not sat down with Chen as I was with the working crew from omy.sg, facilitating the bloggers’ breakfast meeting.

Nonetheless, from my limited interaction with Chen, he come across as a rather sincere and earnest person, determined to do what he think is right, regardless what others have to say about him.

Claire (right) asking Chen a question

Claire (right) asking Chen a question

Claire is half ang moh, so she needs to write her her questions first before she ask Chen. Kudos to her for doing her homework.

Claire is half ang moh, so she needs to write her her questions first before she ask Chen. Kudos to her for doing her homework.

Claire asked Chen what is the most expensive item he bought for himself.

Given his showy way of doing charity, I was quite surprise when he answered saying it is probably a Patek Philippe wrist watch he was wearing:

Chen's watch. Anyone know how much this is worth?

Chen’s watch. Anyone know how much this is worth?

The watch was said to be given to him by a fan and he do not know if it is even authentic.

Chen added he do not go for branded goods and advocate the same principle to his wife and family members. He also do not indulge in vices like gambling and his biggest “vice” and hobby is doing charity.

He mentioned if he were to visit Singapore again, he is considering going to the casinos to tell the high-rollers to donate their money to charitable causes instead.

I am impressed. Really.

I do hope Chen will visit Singapore again and follow through with this plan.

During the short one hour, we witnessed him gave 3 x US$100 notes on-the-spot to an old auntie selling tissue paper who approached his table and two elderly cleaners:

This old lady approached our table touting tissue at S$1 for three packets

This old lady approached our table touting tissue at S$1 for three packets

Chen dug into his wallet...

Chen dug into his wallet…

and gave her US$100 for the three packets of tissue!

and gave her US$100 for the three packets of tissue!

Smith is seen here trying to cheat the US$100 from the old lady

Smith is seen here trying to cheat the US$100 from the old lady (kidding lah, he was explaining to her to keep it properly as she is not familiar with foreign currency and the value of the note)

One of the elderly cleaner who received a US$100 bill from Chen

One of the elderly cleaner who received a US$100 bill from Chen

This uncle received US$100 too.

This uncle received US$100 too.

There is a sizable number of rich elites in this world like Chen who have amassed immense fortunes which the majority of us can never make in multiple lifetimes.

A Singaporean uncle came up to greet Chen and shook his hands, praising him for his charitable deeds

A Singaporean uncle came up to greet Chen and shook his hands, praising him for his charitable deeds

A female fan requested for a photo with Chen at the hawker centre

A female fan requested for a photo with Chen at the hawker centre

A Singapore fan of Chen who approached him to say hello

A Singapore fan of Chen who approached him to say hello

This video below about the income gap in the USA was released late last year and has gone viral. It shows how bad the income gap is in the USA by taking the ratio of the wealth and income of the top and comparing it with the bottom:

[youtube url=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=QPKKQnijnsM”]

Scary?

Isn’t it good that some like Chen choose to give back to society?

The interior design of Chen's namecard lists moral values he thinks are important instead of his business achievements

The interior design of Chen’s name card lists moral values he thinks are important

Borrowing a phrase from Deng Xiaoping: “”It doesn’t matter whether a cat is white or black, as long as it catches mice (不管黑貓白貓,會抓老鼠的就是好貓)”.

In other words, why bother how one is donating as long as he/she is giving back to society.

About The Author

alvinology

Alvin is a marketer by day and blogger by night. He is a 100% geek who spends too much time surfing the web.

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