On November 16, the Hurun Research Institute released the Hurun China Philanthropy List 2022, revealing the ranking of generous donations made by some of the wealthiest individuals and companies in China.
According to Hurun’s report, China’s 49 top philanthropists donated a record-breaking $10 billion. Meanwhile, the top 10 gave away 6.3% of their combined wealth, amounting to a whopping $8.7 billion. In addition, 7 of the top 10 donors contributed shares of their businesses to charitable foundations.
Topping the philanthropy list for the first time was none other than JD.com’s billionaire founder Richard Liu Qiangdong, who donated a staggering $2.05 trillion. The business tycoon with an estimated net worth of $11.8 billion additionally donated 62.38 million Class B shares of JD.com to a third-party charity foundation.
Coming in second place was Meituan’s founder and CEO Wang Xing, who donated a total of $2.03 billion to charity. In 2021, the business tycoon reportedly transferred 57 million shares of his company to his own philanthropic foundation dedicated to education and scientific research. Finally, in third place was Xiaomi’s co-founder Lei Jun with an equally generous donation of $2 billion.
The sudden spike in philanthropy comes as a response to the government’s increasing pressure on China’s largest tech firms to do their part and contribute to the nation’s social development — namely, China’s ‘Common Prosperity program, which aspires to narrow the gap between China’s ultra-wealthy and rural poor. At present, the vast majority of donations have been distributed to charities related to education, followed by disaster relief funds.
All things considered, regardless of the intention behind the donations, the generosity demonstrated by China’s tech giants markets themselves and their companies a reputation as being “good” companies. By supporting a charity, businesses spread the word about their values and will make people more likely to buy products and services from them.