Chinese Billionaire Opens His Wallet To New Yorkers, Tries To Hand Out $100 Bills To No Avail


One Chinese billionaire has come to America on a mission to feed the poor — literally. Recycling tycoon Chen Guangbiao, well known in China for his high-profile charitable projects, tried to hand out $100 bills to random New Yorkers but had very little success.

When Guangbiao walked around the neighborhood around TriBeca’s New York City Rescue Mission, he was more or less snubbed by people when he pulled out $100 bills, the New York Post reports. The less-than-excited reactions to free money didn’t dampen this do-gooder’s mood, though, and he went on to sing “We Are the World” with another guy on the street.

Guangbiao, who took out a full-page ad in the New York Times last week to advertise an extravagant three-course lunch he’s hosting for 250 homeless people at the Loeb Boathouse in Central Park today, is just intent on spreading some of his good fortune and hopes to inspire Americans to given their own a helping hand.

The important thing to me is not the money I’m donating, but to have people take notice of the plight of poor people,” Chen told the New York Post through a translator. “This, for me, is a journey of gratitude, not a journey of charity.”

Even if they won’t take his money on the street, Guangbiao has planned to hold four lavish lunches for New York’s poor, with a goal of feeding 1,000 people. He says he will hand each person $300 in cash when they leave, even though the rescue mission advises against it because the money may encourage many of the diners’ drug-abuse issues.

This isn’t the first time Guangbiao has handed out money in an effort to directly combat poverty. In his native China, the millionaire is known as “Brother Biao” for his larger-than-life philanthropic efforts. Having risen to the top from a life of poverty, has made it his mission to give back where he can. In 2008 he was reported to have given more than $15 million after the Sichuan Earthquake. In 2011 Gungbiao went to Taiwan and handed out some $17 million to underprivileged families, before heading to Japan later that year to help in relief efforts after the nation’sndevastating earthquake and tsunami.

One point is to stimulate people here and around the world to help poor people,” Gungbiao says.