China Philanthropy Law

Report Last updated: September 2019

ICNL’s China Philanthropy Law Report explores the current state of laws and regulations affecting philanthropy.  Philanthropy has a rich and varied history in China, but a complicated legal framework. Since the establishment of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in 1949, China’s legal framework has mainly followed the civil law tradition. The environment for philanthropy evolved somewhat in the 1980s and 1990s but remained controlled and shaped by government policies, priorities, and institutions. This changed in the early 2000s, with the mushrooming of private foundations and the rapid growth of more independent grassroots nonprofits and community-based organizations. The full report unpacks this history and the present-day environment of philanthropy law in China. Additionally, we have a series of infographics, timelines, graphs and other materials provide more context on civil society and philanthropy in China.

Explore our collection of supplemental visual materials below:

FAQ: 2016 Charity Law

A detailed look at the changes introduced by China’s 2016 Charity Law.

FAQ: Overseas NGO Law

A detailed look at the changes introduced by China’s Overseas NGO Law, which came into effect in 2017.

Universe of Chinese NGOs

A graphic visualizing the state of China’s domestic civil society sector.

Universe of Overseas NGOs

A graphic visualizing the state of overseas civil society organizations in China.

Graph: Foundations

Bar graph tracking the growth of foundations in China since 2003.

Graph: Social organizations

Bar graph tracking the growth of social organizations in China since 2003.

Factsheet 1: Key changes

Factsheet highlighting key changes under China’s new regulatory environment for civil society in 2016.

Factsheet 2: Domestic NGOs

Factsheet detailing changes in the regulation of domestic social organizations in China in 2016.

Factsheet 3: Overseas NGO

Factsheet detailing changes to the regulation of overseas NGOs in China in 2016.

Timeline: Rise of philanthropy

Interactive timeline tracking the rise of philanthropy and civil society in China since 1976.

Timeline: Regulation

Interactive timeline tracking the regulation of philanthropy and civil society in China since 1976.