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‘Impact Investing’ Seeks to Grow Up in China

China is home to hundreds of billionaires, but its philanthropy has yet to catch up with this growth, and “impact investments” are still in their infancy compared with the West. Photo: VCG
China is home to hundreds of billionaires, but its philanthropy has yet to catch up with this growth, and “impact investments” are still in their infancy compared with the West. Photo: VCG

Tang Ronghan first heard the term “impact investment” on a business trip to Cambodia in 2011, where he met two college-age volunteers from the U.K.

Such investments, which seek social or environmental benefits alongside financial returns, are common in parts of the developed world, such as the U.S. or U.K. But they are uncommon in China.

For Tang, now the president of Ehong Capital, the experience proved to be revelatory for his corporate strategy. The following year, his firm decided to transform into an “impact investor,” outlining social benefits as key barometers for investment projects.

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