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Ministry exposes copycat and illegal social organizations

Updated: 2016-04-28 20:55
By Luo Wangshu (chinadaily.com.cn)

The Ministry of Civil Affairs has increased punishments this year against social organizations that carry out illegal activities and violate rules, such as trying to pass themselves off as officially sanctioned groups, a ministry spokesman said on Thursday.

"During the first quarter of 2016, the ministry received more than 40 reports about social organizations and conducted investigations into 20 that did not participate in annual inspections," said Li Baojun, the spokesman.

Some social organizations had registered brands overseas with authoritative names, such as ones that included "China" and "global".

This year, the ministry opened a platform on the website of the China Social Organization, to expose copycat and offshore social organizations.

On Wednesday, the fifth batch of such illegal social organizations was exposed, including the Chinese Feng-shui Society and the China Internet Finance Research Institute. It brought the total number of such copycat and offshore social organizations to be exposed to date to 427.

Some of the offshore social organizations had registered outside the Chinese mainland but had used "authoritative" titles that suggested they were official mainland organizations.

"It is very hard for a social organization to register a brand that includes words such as 'China' and 'Chinese' on the Chinese mainland but in Hong Kong, it is less strict," said Deng Guosheng, vice-dean of Tsinghua University's Institute for Philanthropy, during an earlier interview with China Daily.

Liu Zhenguo, vice-director of the Bureau for Management of Nongovernmental Organizations under the Ministry of Civil Affairs, said in an interview in March, that the bureau had received many requests from local public security departments and industrial and commercial departments to investigate websites using misleading branding.

Some activities conducted by those organizations involved fraud, and some involved a large amount of money, Liu said.

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