Alibaba Group released its first philanthropy report Thursday, as its founder and executive chairman, Jack Ma, shifts his focus to charitable causes from his e-commerce empire.
Alibaba, through its three nonprofit platforms, helped raise 1.27 billion yuan (US$184 million) for charitable organizations in fiscal year 2019, according to the report.
The three platforms, including Alibaba Philanthropy, Alipay Philanthropy, and “Each Person Three Hours,” also enabled 440 million users to get involved in philanthropic projects, and have supported 9.1 billion donations.
Ma, one of China’s richest men with an estimated net worth of US$39.1 billion as of January, is planning to relinquish the role of chairman at Alibaba to CEO Daniel Zhang in September, around his 55th birthday.
“I want to go back to teaching,” he said Thursday at the Tech for Good Summit at the Élysée Palace in Paris, according to a press release from Alibaba Group.“Not to teach in one classroom, but to change the way we teach and what we teach. I want to make young people ready for the future.”
Ma was a teacher in Hangzhou, China, before founding Alibaba in 1999.
In addition to education, Ma said he will also leverage his strengths to support entrepreneurs, and fighting for more women leaders.
Last Friday, Ma was reappointed to the U.N.’s panel of Sustainable Development Goals Advocates, who are tasked with pushing for faster action on the goals adopted by world leaders in September 2015. Ma is the only representative from China and the only entrepreneur in the group of 17 advocates.
In 2011, when Ma created the Alibaba Foundation, he announced that 0.3% of the group’s annual revenues would be allocated to social-responsibility initiatives.
“Philanthropy is the core of our business model,” said Sun Lijun, head of the Alibaba Foundation, during the launch ceremony of the first philanthropy report Thursday. “Our foremost priority is providing effective and sustainable solutions to problems faced by society.”