BEIJING, April 25 The founders of Chinese
internet company Alibaba Group Holding Ltd have set up a
charitable trust focusing on the environment and health that
could be worth as much as $3 billion, making it one of the
biggest in Asia.
Jack Ma, Alibaba's founder and executive chair, and Joe
Tsai, a co-founder of Alibaba, created the trust that will be
funded by share options that represent about 2 percent of their
combined equity in Alibaba, the company said in a statement on
its microblog on Thursday.
Alibaba did not give a value for the investment. The trust
is being set up as Alibaba prepares for a highly anticipated
initial public offering that could value the company at $151
billion, according to analysts. That would give the trust a
value of $3.02 billion.
"It is impossible for me to be a doctor. But I can have my
own way to save lives," Ma was quoted by the state news agency
Xinhua as saying. Ma's personal fortune is worth around $8.9
billion, according to Forbes.
Alibaba, founded 15 years ago by Ma, has cornered the
Chinese Internet consumer market and expanded into everything
from online auctions to messaging and payments.
Philanthropy in China has yet to take off, as some wealthy
Chinese fear generous donations could invite unwanted attention
on their fortunes. China ranks towards the bottom of the list of
countries where people give money to charity, volunteer or help
a stranger, according to The World Giving Index, compiled by the
Charities Aid Foundation.
($1 = 6.2489 Chinese Yuan)
(Reporting by Sui-Lee Wee; Editing by Miral Fahmy)