Alibaba pledges $15.5 bn to help China achieve 'common prosperity'

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Beijing, Sep 4 (IANS) Alibaba is pouring 100 billion yuan ($15.5 billion) into China’s drive to achieve “common prosperity”, marking the latest big pledge from a Chinese company to support President Xi Jinping’s campaign.

The tech giant on Friday announced that it would spend the staggering sum by 2025 with an eye on five priorities — innovation in technology, economic development, the creation of “high-quality employment”, supporting vulnerable communities, and setting up a special development fund.

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The company laid out 10 specific goals it plans to tackle, from increasing technological investment in the country’s less developed regions to improving the welfare of gig economy workers and working to speed up the growth of small businesses and agriculture, reports CNN.

Alibaba is setting up what it’s calling the “Prosperity Advancement Working Committee”, which will be helmed by Chairman and CEO Daniel Zhang, the report said.

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“Alibaba is a beneficiary of the strong social and economic progress in China over the past 22 years. We firmly believe that if society is doing well and the economy is doing well, then Alibaba will do well,” he added.

“We are eager to do our part to support the realisation of common prosperity through high-quality development,” he said.

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Alibaba’s pledge came just a week after another major Chinese e-commerce firm, Pinduoduo (PDD) vowed to hand over its entire profit for the last quarter to rural development projects in the country.

It would donate $372 million to the development of China’s agricultural sector and rural areas, with plans to give away 10 billion yuan ($1.5 billion) toward similar causes, it added.

Similarly, Tencent announced in August that it would dedicate 50 billion yuan ($7.7 billion) toward achieving Beijing’s goal of “common prosperity”.

The company said it would aim to help increase income for the poor and address education inequality, among other initiatives.

–IANS

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