There is no doubt that demand for charitable acts in China is huge. Officials from the Ministry of Civil Affairs stated that there are 70 million people in poverty in the rural areas of China, as well as 160 million “empty-nest” elderly and left-behind children who need help. Additionally, China frequently faces devastating natural disasters such as typhoons and the 2021 Zhengzhou floods, which causes lost lives and leaves many without necessities. Until recently, private philanthropy did not play a large role in the Chinese style of capitalism. Today, more and more Chinese companies take corporate social responsibility seriously, making donations and creating funds. These are some of the biggest corporate charity acts in China.
1. Tech giant Alibaba donates to the common prosperity
In 2021 Alibaba has launched the “Ten Alibaba Actions for Common Prosperity” initiative to invest 100 billion yuan to help “common prosperity” by 2025. It includes five major directions, namely technological innovation, economic development, high-quality employment, care for disadvantaged groups, and common prosperity development fund. It will support technology talent funds, growth of small, medium and micro enterprises, agricultural industrialization, SMEs to go overseas, and promote high-quality employment.
Common prosperity is a term used by Chinese authorities and by President Xi Jinping in particular. It means redistribution of common wealth, where rich rural landlords share their wealth with citizens. Therefore, Beijing implicates tougher regulations for the private sector.
Alibaba’s CEO Jack Ma has the second place in the list of charitable acts in China. He donated more than 17 billion yuan to charities in many areas, including environmental protection organizations, research institutes and charitable foundations.
2. Pinduoduo pledges 10 Billion yuan towards agricultural development
In 2021 e-commerce platform Pinduoduo decided to donate $372 million toward the development of China’s agricultural sector and rural areas. In total, the company plans to donate 10 billion yuan to support these sectors. This move more likely was inspired by Tencent, when it announced to put 100 billion yuan towards achieving Beijing’s goal of “common prosperity”. Pinduoduo received a commendation in Feb 2021 from the Chinese government for its contribution towards poverty alleviation.
3. Weihai Weigao was “China Charity Enterprise” award winner
In September 2021 during the “China Charity Day”, Weihai Weigao Group producing medical polymer, won the “Donated Enterprise Award”. This is the highest government award in the philanthropy field. It also donates millions of yuan every year to participate in the “One Day Donation of Compassionateness” activity. For example, Weigao helped more than 20,000 cataract patients in Weihai City recover their eyesight and served more than 1,300 scoliosis patients. Additionally, it donated more than 15 million yuan worth of medical supplies to support the reconstruction of the disaster-stricken areas in Henan. As of the end of August 2021, Weigao Group has donated a total of more than 1 billion yuan.
4. How Tencent helped fight the pandemic
On January 24 2020, the Tencent Charity Foundation announced a donation of 300 million yuan to establish the first phase of the epidemic prevention and control fund. One month later Tencent established a 1.5 billion yuan “anti-epidemic comprehensive security fund”, the money went to material support, technical support, scientific and medical research. Not only that, Tencent has also created the charity for “Relieving the Epidemic” on its own platform. As of April 12 2020, with the joint help of netizens, Tencent’s charity platform has raised more than 605 million yuan for the fight against the epidemic. Tencent wasn’t the only company to provide aid during the pandemic, Didi Chuxing, McDonalds, Baidu and JD.com’s philanthropic efforts also stood out during the Wuhan outbreak.
Tencent CEO Ma Huateng has been at the top of the list of charitable acts in China for years. He donated over 17.2 billion yuan to charity.
5. Meituan’s charity for medical staff
On January 26 2020, Meituan announced that it would donate 200 million yuan through the Meituan Charity Foundation to establish a national special fund for medical staff support and care. At the same time, for medical staff and patients in severely epidemic areas such as Wuhan, it provided multi-dimensional public welfare services in catering and distribution, travel, and psychological counseling to help fight the epidemic.
6. Alibaba: donated 150 million yuan to support Henan’s disaster relief
In July 2021, Alibaba announced a donation of 150 million yuan to help Henan. Among them, the Alibaba Charity Foundation will donate an additional 100 million yuan, and the Jack Ma Charity Foundation will donate 50 million yuan to cooperate with the Henan Provincial Government for disaster relief emergency measures and post-disaster recovery work.
Alibaba’s MMC business group stated that its Hema Market Henan warehouse will supply more than 1,000 materials in the warehouse and give priority to disaster relief. At the same time, the first batch of 450,000 food items and daily necessities goods were transported to 21,000 service points in 7,000 communities in Zhengzhou right after the flooding, which were provided to citizens for free.
7. Ant Group: donate 100 million yuan to help Henan
Ant Group announced on the official public account that it will donate 100 million yuan to support flood control and disaster relief in Henan. At the same time, Ant Group is cooperating with public welfare organizations to use the donations for emergency rescue, epidemic prevention in disaster areas, life and psychological protection of the affected people, and post-disaster reconstruction.
In addition, Chinese paying platform Alipay from Ant Group launched“Donation with Love” with a number of charity organizations to open a special area for “Relief to Henan’s Heavy Rain Disaster. Netizens across the country searched for “Go Henan” on Alipay, and donated money through a number of charity organizations to support Henan’s flood control and disaster relief.
8. Bytedance: donations and assistance during Henan flooding
ByteDance Public Welfare Foundation announced a donation of 100 million yuan giving the priority to the safety, life and learning of children in the Henan disaster-affected areas. The relief targets include children’s aid stations, orphanages, resettlement sites.
At the same time, ByteDance announced the opening of Henan rainstorm mutual assistance channels on Douyin and Toutiao. If the user is trapped and needs help, in addition to dialing the police and emergency numbers as soon as possible, they can also send a video on #河南暴雨互助 channel to introduce current situation, contact information, address, etc. Local people and those willing to provide relief supply or other help can also posting specific information under this hashtag.
9. Tencent: Aid to the 2008 Sichuan earthquake
On May 12 2008, after the Wenchuan earthquake with, Tencent Corporation was one of the first companies taking charitable actions by implementing four batches of direct disaster relief donations totaling 20 million yuan. At the same time, it joined with the China Red Cross One Foundation plan to launch the first “5.12 earthquake” network fundraising platform. On May 20 2008, online donations from Tencent exceeded 20 million yuan.
10. Erke: Donation to Henan
This charitable act in China is especially significant, because the company Erke which donated money to help after Henan flooding experienced large losses that time. In July 2021 it donated 50 million yuan, making many citizens to express their support for this company.
Key takeaways about corporate charitable acts in China
- More and more big tech companies participate in charitable acts to show their social responsibility and support of governmental policy.
- Competition in donations between Alibaba and Pinduoduo shows the importance of corporate social responsibility in winning the hearts of consumers.
- Leaders in personal donations are the heads of top tech companies, promoting charitable acts in China.
Author: Valeriia Mikhailova