As the recovery work continues in Henan province in the wake of deadly flooding, relief is pouring in from across China in the form of both money and material goods like water and food.
Large Chinese firms such as Alibaba and Tencent have pledged to donate relief aid, but as often happens, individual donations by celebrities are being put under the spotlight online.
Actress and model Angelababy was recently called to account by a group of netizens for her donation of 500,000RMB (approximately 77,000USD) to flood relief efforts in Henan province.
Her agency released a photograph of a donation receipt, and soon the hashtag #Angelababy’s 500k Donation to Help Henan# started trending on Chinese microblogging site Weibo, initially accompanied by primarily negative comments.
Henan Residents Mobilize to Protect Homes After Deadly Floods
Netizens quickly pointed out that the donation amount is only a fraction of what she might make for her acting work. The backlash is a prime example of ‘moral abduction,’ a term that originated in China and is similar to ‘guilt trip.’
The online pushback arose as multiple A-list celebrities donated 1 million RMB to the cause, including actor and singer Xiao Zhan, actor Deng Chao — Angelababy’s former co-star on Running Man, and pop singer Zhang Jie. For some, the fact that Angelababy didn’t match the amount donated by these celebrities meant that she wasn’t doing her part.
Other netizens were more sympathetic, however, with one netizen from Henan writing, “I won’t scold her for trying. Even for a star like her, 500,000RMB is a lot of money, and she is under no obligation to donate… Henan will survive. Come on!”
Similarly, a netizen from Guangzhou reminded people that, “Yes, celebrities can donate money. So what? I would appreciate it if you all stopped searching about celebrities and started searching for ways to help people impacted by these floods!”
Click here for more of our coverage on the Henan floods.
Cover image via Wikimedia
We highlight our top stories each week in an email newsletter that goes out every Monday - hot, fresh, and straight to your inbox.
Don't worry, we don't spam