The Strategist

Chinese billionaires are stepping up charitable acts

07/20/2021 - 04:04

Founders of China's biggest IT companies have stepped up their philanthropic activities amid growing scrutiny from Beijing. They are donating billions in shares of their companies and millions of their own money.

Chinese billionaire founders of the biggest technology companies are stepping up their philanthropic efforts amid growing scrutiny from Beijing regulators, Bloomberg reports. 

For example, Xiaomi co-founder Lei Jun donated $2.2 billion worth of the smartphone maker's shares to two charities in July, according to filings with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. In June, Wang Xing of Meituan ($2.3 billion in shares in the food delivery service) and Zhang Yimin of ByteDance ($77.3 million) donated some of their wealth.  

Wang, the founder of Meituan, made the donation immediately after the Chinese antitrust agency announced it was investigating the company and the billionaire published a classic poem online that some saw as a veiled criticism of Beijing. 

ByteDance founder Zhang, the fourth richest man in China with a capital of $44.5 billion, donated more than $77 million to an education foundation in his hometown. In April, Tencent Holdings became the second richest company with $56.7 billion. Its founder Pony Ma pledged $7.7 billion of the company's funds to address social problems and rural poverty.