In the Shadow of the Government: The Chinese Nonprofit Sector in the COVID-19 Crisis

Qiang Dong, Jiahuan Lu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Nonprofit organizations often work on the front lines of disaster assistance and emergency relief. In this sweeping coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, the nonprofit sector in many countries is playing an active role in the national fight against the coronavirus. However, the Chinese nonprofit sector only plays a marginal role in the battle. This article, from a government–nonprofit relationship perspective, delves into the underlying factors shaping the Chinese nonprofit sector’s limited involvement in this pandemic crisis and the impacts of the crisis on the Chinese nonprofit sector. In particular, we argue that a strong and centralized political regime leaves little room for nonprofits’ involvement in emergency relief, resulting in a nonprofit sector that is vulnerable and marginalized. Nonprofits have to be smarter in coping with the government in the COVID-19 downturn.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)784-789
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Review of Public Administration
Issue number6-7
StatePublished - Aug 1 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration
  • Marketing


  • COVID-19
  • Chinese nonprofit sector
  • government-nonprofit Relations


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