Tencent’s Co-founder Charles Chen Launches $320M Education Prize

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Just one month after Tencent CEO Pony Ma donated US$2.1 billion worth of shares to charity, Charles Chen, the low-profile co-founder of Tencent, is doing some of his own  philanthropy by launching the Yidan Prize for education, with a donation of $2.5 billion HKD (US$320 million).

The Yidan Prize, named after Chen’s Chinese name, is an annual international award bestowed in two categories: research and education development. The hefty awards are open to teams and individuals worldwide, and each endowment is worth $30 million HKD (US$3.8 million).

In an interview with local media, Chen recalled the tough lives in early childhood and how his illiterate grandmother helped him to realize the importance of education. The idea of launching this prize was supposedly inspired his experience.

Following the examples of western billionaire philanthropists led by Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, a growing member of Chinese tycoons, including Alibaba founder Jack Ma and Tencent founder Pony Ma, are joining charity initiatives.