The announcement came in late 2018, but Ma was already quite experienced in this line of work
Jack Ma, the co-founder and former executive chairman of Alibaba Group, wants to devote more time and effort to education, philanthropy and environment.
He wrote about it in an open letter to the business' shareholders (and the world) in October last year. And now, he is on his way to achieving what he wanted.
"People say I am one of the richest people in China, but I don't think it is my money. It is money that people have entrusted to you, and you want to spend it in a better, smarter way," he said during an interview with Forbes Asia, explaining one of his new focuses, philanthropy.
The announcement came in late 2018, but Ma was already quite experienced in this line of work.
In 2015, Jack Ma launched the "three hours per person per year" initiative to call on all Alibaba employees to spend three hours every year on public welfare. The initiative pushed public welfare of Alibaba employees to a new stage.
In the fiscal year 2018, the initiative involved about 165,000 participations by Alibaba employees, compared to 79,000 participations in the fiscal year 2016.
The average time spent by each employee on public welfare exceeded three hours, while the average time was 5.93 hours for medium- and high-level employees and 12.37 hours for group partners.
In daily actions, public welfare has become a lifestyle for Alibaba employees.
Way before that in 2006, Alibaba launched its first organised philanthropy programme, dubbed as the model mother programme, in order to help underprivileged mothers in China.
To date, some 20,000 mothers have got free training and funding to become online entrepreneurs, reports Forbes.
Ma also wants to encourage the spirit of philanthropy in others.
"The world won't change because you donate money, but it will change if your heart is changed," Ma said during a philanthropy conference held in Hangzhou, China that Alibaba sponsored in 2016.