søndag 5. september 2021

China’s Alibaba promises $15.5B for development initiatives

E-commerce giant Alibaba Group said Friday it will spend $15.5 billion to support President Xi Jinping’s campaign to spread China’s prosperity more evenly, adding to pledges by tech companies that are under pressure to pay for the ruling Communist Party’s political initiatives. Alibaba said it will invest in 10 projects for job creation, “care for vulnerable groups” and technology innovation. Its 100 billion yuan ($15.5 billion) pledge includes 20 billion yuan ($12.5 billion) for a fund to “cut income inequality” in the company’s home province of Zhejiang, south of Shanghai.

Alibaba and other Chinese tech giants including games and social media service Tencent Holdings Ltd have announced plans to invest in social welfare, technology development and other ruling party priorities in response to pressure to align with Beijing’s political and economic plans. Xi’s “common prosperity” campaign calls for spreading the benefits from China’s economic growth more widely and narrowing one of the world’s widest gaps between an elite with more billionaires than the United States and the poor majority in the 1.4 billion population.

“We firmly believe that if society is doing well and the economy is doing well, then Alibaba will do well,” CEO Daniel Zhang said in a statement.