Chi­nese ty­coon funds fight against poverty

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - BUSINESS -

fac­tur­ing elec­tric fans and 13 years later Midea went pub­lic with a listing in Shen­zhen af­ter grow­ing into a ma­jor elec­tri­cal ap­pli­ance maker. The group gen­er­ates an­nual global rev­enue of more than $22 bil­lion, ac­cord­ing to the com­pany’s web­site. It also em­ploys ap­prox­i­mately 100,000 staff in China and abroad at 21 man­u­fac­tur­ing plants and 260 lo­gis­tics cen- ters. In 2012, He stepped down as chair­man of Midea and a year later he was in­cluded in Forbes list of China’s top 10 rich­est peo­ple.

Since then, he has spent a great deal of his time in­volved in char­i­ties.

This lat­est fund will be used to ease poverty na­tion­wide, and ad­dress is­sues such as ed­u­ca­tion, health care, el­derly care, en­trepreneur­ship and cul­tural her­itage.

The 100 mil­lion Midea shares will be placed in a char­i­ta­ble trust and used for “phil­an­thropic pur­poses,” the com­pany re­vealed.

At the end of last week, the group’s stock price was 40.8 yuan, when the fund was of­fi­cially an­nounced at a cer­e­mony in Foshan in July.

Nearly four years ago, He set up a foun­da­tion, which fo­cused on ed­u­ca­tion, el­derly care, sport, culture and arts.

Poverty relief was also a pil­lar of the char­ity, as well as en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion.

“It took three years to pre­pare for,” Wang, of He Foun­da­tion, said. “He wanted to have a long-term plan in char­ity fund­ing.”

Up to 2 bil­lion yuan has al­ready been do­nated by the He Foun­da­tion to com­mu­nity pro­grams across the coun­try.

“Th­ese cov­ered schools, com­mu­ni­ties and so­ci­ety as a whole,” Wang said.

A grow­ing num­ber of China’s su­per rich are heav­ily in­volved in char­i­ta­ble work, es­pe­cially in projects that have been rolled out to fight poverty in ru­ral re­gions.

Pony Ma, chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer and co-founder of China’s in­ter­net gi­ant Ten­cent Hold­ings Ltd, do­nated up to 100 mil­lion pri­vately held shares of the group to a fund in 2016.

Last year, he also pledged to put 2 per­cent of the com­pany’s an­nual prof­its in char­i­ta­ble pro­grams.

He Xiangjian, founder of Midea Group

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