Date
21 October 2017
Pony Ma predicts increased use of technology in philanthropy after announcing a donation from his company. Photo: Reuters
Pony Ma predicts increased use of technology in philanthropy after announcing a donation from his company. Photo: Reuters

Tencent to donate 2% of profit to charity

Tencent founder Pony Ma said his company would donate 2 percent of its annual profit to charity.

At the same time, the Chinese billionaire predicted growth in mobile internet use in China’s philanthropy sector, Reuters reports.

Ma’s pledge follows China’s introduction of new laws earlier this month that provided a legal framework for approved internet companies to raise and manage funds for charity.

It also comes days after Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan said they would donate more than US$3 billion toward a plan to “cure, prevent or manage” all disease.

Ma said China’s first charity law provided a missing legal framework in Chinese philanthropy operations and allowed more flexibility in their administration.

China’s self-made tech billionaires have in recent years topped the nation’s philanthropist list.

Ma and Tencent co-founder Chen Yidan were named in a report by the Hurun Research Institute in June as the nation’s top two givers in the past year.

Ma, who in April pledged 100 million company shares worth more than US$2 billion to a personal charity fund in April in one of China’s largest philanthropic pledges, has vowed to use technology to transform China’s public welfare efforts.

Ma said China has been a world leader in drawing the social benefits of mobile internet technology and cited philanthropy as one key area of change.

“For example, three years ago, 90 percent of the donations made on our online platform were done from PC, now it is 90 percent mobile,” Ma said at an event in Hong Kong on Friday.

In 2014, Alibaba co-founders Jack Ma and Joe Tsai pledged share options worth about US$3 billion at the time to charity.

In December 2015, Facebook’s Zuckerberg made one of the largest pledges in history when he and his wife said they would donate 99 percent of their company shares to charity.

Tencent is China’s largest social media network and entertainment company and operates the popular messaging app WeChat.

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