Ten­cent donates big to charity

PonyMa says that mo­bile tech and so­cial net­works en­able ev­ery­one to par­tic­i­pate

China Daily (Canada) - - BUSINESS - By MENGJING mengjing@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Pony Ma, chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer and a co-founder of Chi­nese in­ter­net gi­ant Ten­cent Hold­ings Ltd, pledged to do­nate 1 to 2 per­cent of the com­pany’s an­nual profit to charity and make do­na­tions part of peo­ple’s daily lives via the in­ter­net and other tech­nolo­gies.

Ma said at a re­cent fo­rum in Hong Kong that the five founders of Ten­cent had won­dered how to lever­age the in­flu­ence of the com­pany’s large num­ber of users and the wealth it cre­ates to do more for so­ci­ety when the com­pany shifted from the phase of sur­vival to de­vel­op­ment, about six or seven years after it was started.

“Be­tween 2006 to 2007, we started to con­sider set­ting up China’s first in­ter­net char­i­ta­ble foun­da­tion. And, we made a rule to do­nate about 1 per­cent of Ten­cent’s an­nual profit to charity ev­ery year,” he said, adding the com­pany has do­nated about 1 per­cent to 2 per­cent of its an­nual profit to charity and will keep do­ing so in the fu­ture.

Ac­cord­ing to the Hong Kong-listed Ten­cent’s fi­nan­cial re­port, the com­pany’s net profit in 2015 was 32.41 bil­lion yuan ($4.86 bil­lion), a rise of 30 per­cent year-on-year.

China’s self-made tech bil­lion­aires have in re­cent years topped the na­tion’s phi­lan­thropist list. Ma and Ten­cent co-founder Chen Yi­dan were named in a re­port by the Hu­run Re­search In­sti­tute in June as the na­tion’s top two givers in the past year.

Apart from do­nat­ing money, Ma said it was more im­por­tant to lever­age the in­flu­ence of the com­pany’s plat­form. The Ten­cent Foun­da­tion has built up a very ac­tive charity plat­form with a goal to con­nect thou­sands of char­i­ta­ble or­ga­ni­za­tions, projects and NGOs with the com­pany’s hun­dreds of mil­lions of users.

“Our­in­ter­net-based­plat­form is the an­swer to mak­ing do­na­tions trans­parentan­dit en­ables each in­di­vid­ual to do­nate to the project he or she is in­ter­ested in. Rather than mak­ing a one­off dona­tion, peo­ple can choose to do­nate a cer­tain amount ev­ery month,” saidMa, who is a firm believer that Ten­cent’s ex­pe­ri­ence in mak­ing in­ter­net prod­ucts can also be ap­plied in the world of phi­lan­thropy.

He pointed out that, be­cause of China’s large pop­u­la­tion of smart­phone users, the coun­try has taken the lead in terms of con­nect­ing char­i­ta­ble projects with do­na­tors via mo­bile in­ter­net. About 90 per­cent of do­na­tions on Ten­cent’s char­i­ta­ble plat­form are made by smart­phones and 80 per­cent of the do­na­tions are made with the help of peo­ple spread­ing word of the project on their so­cial net­works.

SUN CHEN / FOR CHINA DAILY

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