Tencent’s chairman pledges $2bn for charity
The chairman of one of China’s largest internet companies is looking to join the ranks of the technology world’s big philanthropists Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates with a more than $2bn donation to charity.
Pony Ma, who is also founder and chief executive of Tencent Holdings, plans to cash in 100m company shares to make the donation to the Tencent Foundation, which gives money to healthcare, education and environmental protection in China, the company said on Monday.
Tencent shares in Hong Kong closed up 0.24 per cent at HK$165.7, making the donation worth about $2.1bn.
The company operates QQ and WeChat, two of China’s largest online and mobile chatting applications. The Shenzhen-based, Hong Kong-listed group has a market capitalisation of $185bn and owns entertainment and online gaming businesses, as well as a bank and other financial services.
Mr Ma has a net worth of about $20bn, according to Forbes but his success has often been overshadowed by Jack Ma of Alibaba, the eCommerce company. The Alibaba founder was reportedly worth more than $22bn. Alongside his chief financial officer, he said last year that he had set up a fund using share options worth about 2 percent of the company’s equity, or about $3bn at the time of the announcement.
The Tencent chairman said in a statement: “After 10 years of exploration and participation in philanthropic activities, I increasingly feel a better way to continue giving back to the society is to do it over a longer term and in a more organised way.”
Tencent said its Foundation, which was established in 2007 and co-operates with other charities in China, was set to become one of the biggest charitable funds in the world.
中国最大互联网企业之一的董事长承诺向慈善事业捐赠逾20亿美元，此举将使他加入高科技领域最大慈善家马克•扎克伯格(Mark Zuckerberg)和比尔•盖茨(Bill Gates)的行列。
腾讯控股(Tencent Holdings)昨日表示，创始人和首席执行官马化腾(Pony Ma)计划捐献1亿股腾讯股票给腾讯基金会(Tencent Foundation)。该基金会将向中国的医疗、教育和环保事业捐赠资金。