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Foreign Companies in China Busy with Good Deeds in 2002
2004-10-27

Foreign companies in China actively promoted their charitable activities in 2002, both to boost their images and make a contribution to society.

The Ford Environment Prize, one of the world's biggest environmental awards, has been in China for the past three years.

"The prize aims to encourage Chinese people to participate in or propose environmental protection plans," said Kenneth Hsu, vice-president of sponsors Ford Motor China.

Worth 1 million yuan (120,000 US dollars) altogether, the prizeis divided into three categories. The winners were chosen from 410applicants nationwide.

Having won favor with young urban Chinese, Coca-Cola is now eyeing those in poor regions and has set up training programs for would-be university graduates.

From 1999, the company has helped 678 rural students with university tuition fees. With these students now facing the challenge of finding jobs, Coca-Cola was using a specialized company to train them in English and interview skills, said Zhai Mei, associate external affairs director of Coca-Cola China.

Noted energy company Alstom donated 100,000 yuan (12,500 US dollars) to the Department of Electrical Engineering at Qinghua University, which is Alstom's research partner in China.

Europe's largest mutual life insurance company Standard Life helped rebuild three Hope Schools in Yunnan Province as well as set up an employees' donation scheme to help students and teachersat the schools.

European aircraft manufacturer Airbus donated 60,000 yuan (7,500 US dollars) to a Beijing orphanage.

US freight firm FedEx donated 30,000 US dollars to the ShanghaiArt Festival and offered 1,000 free tickets to outstanding students from Shanghai universities. FedEx also cooperated with China Eastern Airlines to deliver over 3,000 kg of flood relief supplies to Wuhan Airport.

In a mature market economy, a company can create its image through advertising or charitable undertakings, experts said. In recent years, more and more multinational companies in China have not only increased their investment in advertising but are also doing more good deeds.

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