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Internet giants encourage charity through digital platforms

Internet companies are using technology to drive forward public welfare and encourage ordinary users to engage in charitable causes through digital platforms.

Internet companies are using technology to drive forward public welfare and encourage ordinary users to engage in charitable causes through digital platforms.

Alibaba has wrapped up its charity week with the theme of "The Power of Small," which emphasized the cumulative power of small, everyday acts and generated 300 million acts of personal philanthropy.

It has also provided an overview for each consumer so that he or she can track contributions and share their experiences with others.

In Shanghai alone, 150 million yuan (US$21.86 million) in donations has been made by consumers through Alibaba's payment service Alipay since 2016.

In the 12 months to the end of March this year, donations from Alibaba merchants totaled 266 million yuan, and a cumulative number of 6.3 billion consumers were mobilized for the campaign. 

Tencent said that its annual online charity day on September 9 gathered more than 830 million yuan from more than 28 million visitors to Tencent's social platforms. More than 2,000 companies donated 185 million yuan during the event.

Tencent Foundation this year donated an additional 399 million yuan on top of web users' donations to promote public welfare and to support the development of charitable organizations.

Education related projects and disease relief funds make up most of the charitable programs seeking funding through Tencent's platform.

Chen Yidan, founder and honorary chairman of the Tencent Charity Foundation, said the foundation is encouraging reasonable charitable deeds through digital networks, urging stakeholders to put more attention into the sustainability of charitable projects and to look deeper into how their good deeds actually help those in need.

It will also set up guidance and supervisory rules to make sure donated funds go directly into charitable funds' accounts and won't be misused.

Alibaba's logistics affiliate, Cainiao, said its Cainiao Green Alliance campaign has set goals to promote green logistics initiatives and promote the use of eco-friendly or biodegradable packaging materials on Alibaba-related online retail platforms.

Last year the e-commerce giant announced plans for a 10 billion yuan Alibaba Poverty Relief Program which focuses on education, rural commerce advancement, the empowerment of women, health care, and environmental sustainability.

The Ant Forest program on the Alipay app was adopted in 2016 and encourages eco-friendly activities among users, such as paying utility bills online or walking to work, which can be collected as virtual points to be turned into green plantations by third-party charitable partners.


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