Briefing: Alibaba’s Taobao raised RMB 440 million in 2018 for philanthropic efforts

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Banner Year for Alibaba’s Taobao Philanthropy Efforts – PR Newswire

What happened: Alibaba Group’s Taobao marketplace raised RMB 440 million ($65 million) from two million merchants and nearly 430 million shoppers to help an estimated 8.7 million people. The move makes Taobao China’s largest online philanthropy platform, in terms of total participation, according to the company. In addition, the money and other resources raised via Taobao are used to help the poor and disadvantaged in Ethiopia and Myanmar. The platform supports causes ranging from poverty alleviation, education and environmental protection, to childcare and animal protection, as well as illness and disaster relief.

Why it’s important: China’s promising digital payment environment has shifted the country’s donation and charity event participation. Thanks to the push from tech giants, Chinese donors are familiar with “donation” buttons within mobile payment apps to make digital transfers. Alibaba rival Tencent also leads the trend with a dedicated arm Tencent Gongyi, which has more than 210 million users and has initiated over 50,000 programs since its launch in 2007.