Major philanthropic news out of China! Earlier this week, Tencent CEO Pony Ma pledged to donate $2 billion dollars worth of his shares to charity. The generous offering is especially notable considering the visibility and impact that Tencent already has on so many people. It’s a huge technology company that touches everything from internet and online advertising products to entertainment and media services.
In a move similar to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s plan to give away 99% of his shares, Ma will donate his $2 billion’s worth gradually. They will be used to support a new charity that is focused on a number of Chinese causes that include health care and education. The funds will also support international projects for science and technological advancement.
Ma, who is worth close to $20 billion, sees this action as a better way to give back. He’s said that for some time he’s been involved with charitable groups, but giving away shares likes this allows him to stay charitably active with a concrete long term plan.
Pony Ma’s contribution is also the largest charitable donation from a Chinese Business since 2014, when Alibaba’s Jack Ma and Joe Tsai pledged $3 billion worth of shares to two separate charities.
In order to combat the logistical difficulties that seem to plagues generous giving in China, Pony Ma’s fund is being organized by a professional team. While one would reasonably expect charitable contributions to be a large part of Chinese businesses— after all, there are now more billionaires in China than in the United States. But the Chinese nonprofit has suffered from issues such as a lack of transparency that make giving harder than keeping.