Monday, May 8, 2017

More Analysis of the 62 Registered Foreign NGOs

Following up on my last blog post showing the most recent stats on foreign NGOs that registered a representative office by month and province (Table 1), I decided to also break them down by sector (Table 2) and by country/territory of origin (Table 3) to see what the numbers would reveal. The source was a list of registered foreign NGOs available on the Ministry of Public Security's website. 

Table 1: Number of ONGOs that have registered a representative office by month and province


Jan
Feb
March
April
Total
Beijing
22
1
1
4
28
Guangdong
5

3
2
10
Shanghai
6


8
14
Sichuan


1
1
2
Yunnan



9
9
Jiangsu



3
3
Gansu



1
1
Guizhou



1
1
Jiangxi



1
1
Total
33
1
5
30
69


In total, 62 NGOs were listed as registering a total of 69 representative offices. Five of the 62 NGOs had succeeded in registering a representative office in more than one province. These included:

  • MSI Professional Services, a faith-based NGO doing poverty alleviation work (agriculture, community health and development, business development, education and youth, etc.) which had registered a rep office in Sichuan and Yunnan; 
  • Project Hope, a NGO which works on health care, had rep offices in Beijing and Shanghai
  • U.S. Soybean Export Council which had rep offices in Beijing and Shanghai.
  • U.S.-China Business Council which had rep offices in Beijing and Shanghai.
  • World Vision Hong Kong, a NGO which works on community and youth development, poverty alleviation and disaster relief, had rep offices in Guangdong, Yunnan, Guangxi and Jiangxi.
  •  
For Table 2, I had to create broad categories and settled on making a distinction between: 1) membership associations engaged in commerce, trade and scientific/technical research; 2) development-type NGOs providing social services (mostly health-related, child welfare, and poverty alleviation, and environmental); and 3) NGOs engaged in education and cultural exchange. (Note: In an earlier version of this post, I used the term "social service" instead of "development" but an astute reader noted that environmental NGOs generally do not provide social services, but rather usually do advocacy. I'll use the term "development" for now until I can think of a better solution.)

Table 2: Number of ONGOs registered by sector/field


Development
Education/
Culture
Econ/
Trade
Sci/
Tech
Think-tank
Total
Beijing
18
2
7

1
28
Guangdong
3
2
5


10
Shanghai
2

11
1

14
Sichuan
2




2
Yunnan
9




9
Jiangsu

1
2


3
Gansu

1



1
Guizhou
1




1
Jiangxi
1




1
Total
37
5
25
1
1
69


The largest sectors were development with 37 NGOs, and economic/trade associations with 25. I also created a separate category for think-tanks, in this case the Paulson Institute which was registered in Beijing.  The Paulson Institute is a U.S. think tank founded by Henry Paulson, the former CEO of Goldman Sachs and former Treasury Secretary under President George W. Bush.

Not surprisingly, most of the registered development NGOs were concentrated in Beijing and Yunnan, a province which has a long history of involvement by foreign NGOs mostly working in the environmental, health and poverty alleviation sectors. Most of the economic and trade associations were concentrated in the industrial/commercial centers of Beijing, Shanghai and Guangdong as we would expect.

In terms of country of origin (Table 3), the largest number came from the U.S. with 25. Here again, this was no surprise given the size of the nonprofit sector in the U.S. compared to other countries. What was more unexpected was the number of Hong Kong-based NGOs (20) that had managed to register, nearly as many as from the U.S., and far more than those from European countries. Many of these were social service, or educational/cultural NGOs, rather than economic/trade associations, contrary to what we might think given Hong Kong's position as a commercial center. Several of these NGOs were established by ethnic Chinese, faith-based, quite small and not well-known, in contrast with the much larger, well-known NGOs such as the Gates Foundation, Save the Children, Family Health International, Conservation International and World Wildlife Fund from the U.S. and Europe. In fact, an internet search on a number of them turned up almost no information about their mission, organization, governance or activities. Many had also not been previously registered as a rep office of a foreign foundation with the Ministry of Civil Affairs under the 2004 Foundation Management Regulations. The ability of these Hong Kong-based NGOs to register a rep office quite early on suggests that capacity and expertise may not count as much as an organization's cultural/ethnic affinity, connections, and history working in the PRC, but that may also be pure speculation on my part. Still their presence on the list does raise the question of how these NGOs were able to get a head-start on many of their better-resourced counterparts.

Table 3: Number of ONGOs registered by country/territory


BJ
GD
SH
YN
SC
JS
GS
GZ
JX
Total
U.S.
16

9
2

1



28
HK/Macau
5
7
1
4
1


1
1
20
U.K.
1


1
1
1
1


5
France
2








2
S. Korea
1
1







2
Switzerland
1


1





2
Germany
2








2
Taiwan

1



1



2
Spain


1






1
Australia



1





1
Japan

1







1
Canada


1






1
India


1






1
Russia


1






1
Total
28
10
14
9
2
3
1
1
1
69

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