Alibaba has committed RMB10bn (US$1.5bn) over the next five years to help alleviate poverty in China with the establishment of a charity fund.
The Alibaba Poverty Relief Fund aims to help improve the livelihood of China’s poor with a focus on education, entrepreneurship, empowering women and environmental protection.
The investment will come from Alibaba employees and its 36 partners with additional support from the Alibaba Foundation, a charity established in 2011 that takes in 0.3% of Alibaba’s annual revenue to support social responsibility initiatives. Poverty alleviation work will also be a key focus of Alibaba Foundation for the next five years.
Alibaba will also offer technology and expertise from its ecommerce, logistics, payment and financial service platforms to help China’s rural population use the power of the internet to improve their lives.
The fund will be led by four Alibaba executives, who will each serve as vice chairs, including executive vice chairman Joe Tsai, chief executive officer Daniel Zhang and Alibaba partners Lucy Peng and Eric Jing, under president Shao Xiaofeng.
Each will focus on a different area, Tsai will help disadvantaged students gain access to higher education opportunities, Zhang will work to improve economic access for the country’s rural population, Peng will help to empower women to improve their livelihood and Jing will help promote environmental restoration as a vital component of economic growth.
Alibaba Group founder and executive chairman Jack Ma will also serve as fund chairman and will focus on rural education.
“We believe the end of poverty is a goal that can be achieved and our Fund embodies our long-standing commitment to give back to society. We are deeply passionate about equal access to education, employment and entrepreneurship opportunities. While Alibaba and its executives have been committed to these causes for years, this Fund takes our commitment a step further. We seek to lead by example and make a meaningful impact with our work.”
Alibaba said the fund will form a huge part of the e-commerce company’s longstanding commitment to give back to society.
In the past, Alibaba has funded scholarships for the training and professional development of China’s rural school teachers, as well as launching initiatives to encourage female empowerment which included supporting more than 5,000 mothers from nine Chinese provinces to set-up their own businesses using the Internet.