Corporate earthquake donations and social media

Soon after the Sichuan earthquake of 2008, donation fever gripped China as individuals and companies lined up to donate funds for disaster relief. Some of this enthusiasm turned sour: Internet users drew up a spurious list of the top ten “international iron roosters” 国际铁公鸡 accusing global brands like Samsung, Nokia, and Coca-Cola of donating nothing to the earthquake relief effort despite reaping in millions in profits in the China.

After the Ya’an quake of April 20 this year, companies foreign and domestic have been swift and public about their donations, and donation announcements have sparked considerable discussion on China’s social network services. The chart above illustrates the conversation spike on Sina’s Weibo microblog platform for ten prominent brands after their donations were publicized in the media. Apple and Samsung are notably prominent.

The above is adapted from The Danwei Bulletin, a weekly report produced by Danwei and published on the FT’s China Confidential website and sent to premium subscribers. The Danwei Bulletin is a weekly briefing of investment intelligence from Chinese media and Internet, presenting company and market news collected from the Chinese news and social media. We focus on information that has not appeared in English language reporting or not yet been noted by the investment and business media and communities.

A brief summary of each week’s report can be viewed on the China Confidential website, and the full edition is available by subscription.

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