Jack Ma and the Chinese Tech Titans’ Mission to Donate Billions


The Alibaba founder’s sprawling home in Hangzhou, Jack Ma’s hometown, has its own food supply in the National Wetlands Park. However, this resort is only one of the city’s vast lots that it owns.

“Its nickname is ‘half of Massachusetts’,” said a retired government official in a 10-yard town who has worked with Alibaba for more than a decade. He said that some of Ma’s possessions were purchased and others were received as a gift from the government as a result of the donation.

For years, the excess of Chinese tycoons has been a legend. From Victoria Peak in Hong Kong to Kensington Palace Gardens in London to the Upper East Side in New York, they have the most expensive properties in the world. Many have collected a series of prestigious acquisitions, from British football clubs and Bordeaux vineyards to Hollywood studios and international newspapers.

now Horse And his group of millionaire tech giants have an urgent mission to show their socialist spirit through public donations and charitable pledges.

Because China’s richest and most powerful corporate elite is trying to appease China’s Xi Jinping Jintao, through the sudden explosion of mercy, the number in recent months, the country’s billions of dollars from the country’s bank account safe and private individuals in companies Directed to causes related to.

However, China’s growing philanthropic sector is skeptical of donation movements amid concerns over tighter national control.

The Genesis Flood follows a barrage of tech-driven regulatory and political restrictions from Beijing. It is a widespread crackdown that has cost the value of some of the country’s largest companies tens of billions of dollars and shattered the founder’s personal wealth.

Chinese tycoons have skyrocketed many of the world’s most expensive real estate, including the Kensington Palace Garden in London © Hannah McKay / PA

“Scary part [for donors] I don’t know how many, ”said an executive from a large charity in Beijing. “The only thing they can do is see how much their peers have given and try to match it.”

The focus is on the redistribution of the Chinese Communist Party’s wealth after Xi demanded stricter “too high income” regulations and “encourage high-income groups and businesses to return to society.” , Improved this month.

The Chinese leaders, who were commented on by state media after last week’s high-level economic planning conference, are also in China. “Common prosperityWas an essential requirement of socialism.

Days after Xi’s comments announced last week, Tencent, one of China’s largest social media, games, and fintech groups, spent 50 billion RMB ($ 7.7 billion) on its “common prosperity program”. Advertised to secure.

This week, Chen Lei, CEO of Pinduoduo, one of China’s largest e-commerce platforms, will join the engagement campaign to support agricultural modernization and rural revitalization, the company’s future profits. Pledged to donate $ 1.5 billion.

Others have announced new social contributions in recent weeks, including Zhang Lei’s private equity group, Hill House Capital, and Xing Wang, the founder of the Meituan food delivery company.

Tech groups such as Alibaba and Ride Hailing Group Diddy have donated tens of millions of dollars to recovery efforts following the Henan floods © Chinatopix / AP

Following the deadly flooding in Henan last month, tech groups such as Alibaba, Ridehaling Group Didi, Tencent and Pinduo Duo donated tens of millions of dollars to recovery efforts.

Over the past decade, the amount of cash donations given each year by China’s top 10 entrepreneurs has nearly tripled, according to data from the Hurun Research Institute, a China-based research group. According to data compiled by Bloomberg, donations from Chinese billionaires this year are already 20% higher than in 2020 as a whole.

But now there appears to be increasing pressure on corporations and big names to keep pace with the Chinese Communist Party and change philanthropy, experts said, which could undermine their goodwill.

Authorities have long encouraged charitable giving (often referred to as a third or “third” distribution of income), but are now at the forefront of the party’s political agenda, according to a senior Chinese financial official.

“Tertiary distribution has been mentioned in government documents for 30 years,” said an executive who asked not to be named. “But until last week, no one was reading these documents. Now everyone reads every word.

The executives added that their company was developing philanthropy. We have created all this wealth thanks to the Chinese market. It is right that we contribute to society. “

Beijing charity leaders have sought to curb the rampant growth of private sector groups whose authorities are believed to be eroding party control since China’s revised charity law came into effect five years ago. . As a result, non-governmental organizations fell under “strict surveillance”.

Instead, donations are channeled to benefit state-related initiatives at the expense of grassroots groups.

“It’s very difficult to get approval to start a new private charity. For example, last year there were no newly approved NGOs in Haidian, ”he said, the most developed in Beijing. Mentioned one of the neighborhoods.

“Government-backed charities will be the main beneficiaries of the latest policy initiatives. Private companies will gain political credibility by financing government projects.

Scott Kennedy, a Chinese economic policy expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a US think tank, said many top Chinese leaders have individual philanthropy, especially after Alibaba’s horses created a wave of ‘entrepreneurs. A private trust that said it had established a reputation in.

Kennedy warned that Beijing’s efforts to superimpose philanthropic giving risked having “opposite effects,” reducing “genuine enthusiastic support” and emphasizing state-led philanthropy.

“This is consistent with the general tendency to reduce the influence of civil society under Xi Jinping. Gone, everything to provide or, independent public or to declare in responsible action the public goods I feel uncomfortable. “

“But after all, the main goal of the party is to seek control and control over all aspects of life in China.”

Edward White in Seoul, Tom Mitchell in Singapore, San Yu, Christian Shephard, Ryan McMorrow, Sherry Fay Ju, Nian Liu in Beijing, Wang Xue Chao in Shanghai

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