Ma Huateng, or Pony Ma as he is more commonly known as, made a huge announcement last Monday. He will donate to a new charity fund he has created that supports the three important pillars of a prosperous society; education, medical help, and environmental causes. The announcement is huge because what he is donating is hug; 100 million company shares which amount to about two billion dollars. This will be one of the largest charitable gifts in the History of china.
Mr. Pony Ma is of Tencent money. Tencent was once just an Internet portal but now it is hands down China’s largest social network. It is considered one of the “Big Three” tech companies in China along with Baidu and Alibaba. With Ma’s worth estimated at more than 18 billion dollars it should come as no surprise.
Alibaba, one of the two other “Big Three” tech companies had its founders make a donation of similar value back in 2014. The Alibaba founders Jack Ma (unrelated to Pony) and Joe Tsa donated three billion dollars to their own charity foundation. Jack is a known wealthy conservationist and in fact only last Year he bought 28000 acres of American wilderness in the Adirondack Mountains for preservation.
Although China has taken first place as far as the number of billionaires in the country, United States of America (who was recently overtaken to become second in the world with number of billionaires in the nation) is still number one when in comes to philanthropy. In fact, even with more billionaires China lags well behind.
The United States billionaires are so keen for their philanthropy that they even spend a lot of time working with other billionaires of the world to help convince them the importance of giving back. Bill and Melinda Gates and as well as Warren Buffet, all well known for the billion they give back, even crated The Giving Pledge which is suppose to encourage those with such vast fortunes to give some of it back. Although in China they do not naturally accept the idea of giving back and believe in their cold, disciplined, business ethics.
China has been slow to accept The Giving Pledge but with people like Pony Ma and Jack Ma making donations, hopefully it encourages other Chinese billionaires. Maybe the recent charities started by some of “The Big Three” is just a complicated competition that really just has them locked in on each other without giving much care to how many they are actually helping. Either way, as long as billions are going to charity then it is a good thing. Hopefully it catches on.
Ma made a statement when announcing the gift last Monday:
“After 10 years of exploration and participation in philanthropic activities I increasingly feel that there is a need for a more longer-term, efficient and organized way to give back to society.
Perhaps this will pave the way towards Chinese billionaires taking just as much pride in their charitable efforts as they do their business ventures.
Writer and Coffee Addict