Chinese mogul invites poor Americans to a Central Park lunch

NEW YORK Thu Jun 19, 2014 7:28pm EDT

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A Chinese recycling tycoon who has been angling to buy the New York Times Co aims to throw feasts for 1,000 homeless Americans, starting with a lunch in New York City's Central Park next week, where he also plans to perform a song.

Chen Guangbiao, who made his fortune in the recycling business before becoming a well-known philanthropist in China, took out advertisements in the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal on Monday inviting America's poor to the lunch at the park's Loeb Boathouse.

During the lunch set for next Wednesday, Chen promised to sing "We Are the World," a 1985 charity hit song performed by dozens of stars, to his guests in English.

"I want to spread the message in the U.S. that there are good philanthropists in China and not all are crazy spenders on luxury goods," Chen was quoted as saying in an interview about the lunch with the South China Morning Post.

After the Central Park lunch, Chen says he will host three other lunches as part of his plan to feed 1,000 poor Americans, organizers said.

Chen's quest to buy the New York Times from the Ochs-Sulzberger family, which has owned the paper for generations, is widely seen as quixotic.

(Reporting by Jonathan Allen; Editing by Scott Malone and Will Dunham)

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