China’s Pony Ma Donates $2 Bil­lion to Char­ity

The Economic Times - - Around The World -

Bei­jing: The founder of China’s In­ter­net gi­ant Ten­cent will do­nate $2 bil­lion in shares to char­ity, the com­pany said — one of the largest gifts ever given in a country whose new su­per-rich have no tra­di­tion of phi­lan­thropy.

Pony Ma, Ten­cent’s chief ex­ec­u­tive, will give the shares to a new foun­da­tion for main­land projects in health, ed­u­ca­tion and en­vi­ron­men­tal con­ser­va­tion, among other is­sues, his com­pany said.

PonyMais­the34thrich­est­manin the world with a net worth of $20.2 bil­lion, ac­cord­ing to Bloomberg’s rank­ing.

China’s top busi­ness­men fall far be­hindtheir­west­ern­coun­ter­parts in cor­po­rate so­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity.

In 2014, Jack Ma and Joe Tsai, co-founders of ri­val In­ter­net be­he­moth Alibaba, pledged to es­tab­lish a phil­an­thropic trust funded with shares in the com­pany es­ti­mated to be worth $3 bil­lion at the time.

But the country’s most gen­er­ous donor last year was He Xiangjian, founder of ap­plia nce maker Midea, who gave 400 mil­lion yuan ($61.7 mil­lion), ac­cord­ing to data com­piled by Har­vard Univer­sity’s Kennedy School of Govern­ment. “In China, both donors and re­cip­i­ents have to pay taxes on do­na­tions. Many en­trepreneurs find it hard to find a qual­i­fied char­i­ta­ble trust to man­age the do­na­tions,” the state-run Global Times on Thurs­day quoted Song Hou­liang, chief ed­i­tor of China Phi­lan­thropist mag­a­zine, as say­ing.

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