Caixin
Sep 03, 2021 06:39 AM
BUSINESS

Alibaba Jumps on ‘Common Prosperity’ Bandwagon With $15.5 Billion Pledge

What’s new: Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. joined a growing list of Chinese tech giants pledging billions of dollars to support the “common prosperity” campaign of President Xi Jinping.

Alibaba will invest 100 billion yuan ($15.5 billion) in 10 key initiatives promoting common prosperity over the next five years through programs including improving digital infrastructure in undeveloped regions, reducing costs for small businesses and improving benefits for gig-economy workers, according to a report by Zhejiang Daily confirmed by the company. Alibaba will establish a dedicated permanent mechanism for implementation, the paper reported.


The move follows similar philanthropic declarations by other Chinese tech companies. Pinduoduo Inc. recently pledged $1.5 billion of current and future earnings toward the development of agriculture. Tencent Holdings Inc. said last month that it would provide 50 billion yuan to aid the government’s wealth redistribution efforts, adding to an April pledge of 50 billion yuan for a “sustainable social values” program.

In recent months, tech billionaires including Meituan’s Wang Xing and Xiaomi Corp.’s Lei Jun also pledged sizable chunks of their personal fortunes to social causes.

The background: In February, China declared that it eradicated extreme poverty. As the economy recovers from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, the central government’s focus has switched from growth to social security with renewed efforts to achieve “common prosperity” by 2035.

China’s top leaders have vowed to strengthen regulation of the country’s wealthy people, including “reasonably adjusting excessive” income and encouraging high-earning groups and enterprises to give back to society.

The government’s commitment was made during an August economic policy meeting chaired by Xi as part of efforts to build a common prosperity society and improve income distribution to tackle social inequality.

Quick Takes are condensed versions of China-related stories for fast news you can use.

Contact reporter Denise Jia (huijuanjia@caixin.com) and editor Bob Simison (bobsimison@caixin.com)

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