Tencent lends helping hand to needy

Updated: 2015-09-10 07:41

By Zhou Mo in Shenzhen(China Daily USA)

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Internet giant launches drive to encourage people to donate to poor

Internet giant Tencent Holdings Ltd has launched a charitable initiative which is calling on people from across the country to donate to the needy.

Starting from Monday and running through Wednesday, Sept 9, the "9.9 charity day", initiated by the Shenzhen-headquartered company, was established with the aim of helping those in need using the Internet via WeChat and quick response codes.

 Tencent lends helping hand to needy

A Tencent employee, and charity supporter, explains to a visitor how to take part in Tencent's program. Provided to China Daily

By Wednesday morning, the amount of money received had reached 100 million yuan ($15.87 million) by 1.37 million donors.

"Our vision is to promote a society that is filled with goodwill and trust," said Chen Yidan, founder of Tencent, as well as founder and honorary chairman of the Tencent Charity Foundation.

In the Internet era, Chen said, charity has become something that is accessible to all people. "Hundreds of thousands of ordinary donors are both initiators and communicators of charity. We want to gather power from every person to push forward the charity cause in China," he told a news conference held in Shenzhen.

In the first eight months of this year, approximately 500 million yuan of donations were raised through Tencent charitable platforms, almost five times the amount gathered in 2014. The number of individual online donations has reached roughly 36 million.

Guangzhou taxi driver Chen Chunjing was one of the beneficiaries of Internet charity. In April, his 3-year-old daughter suffered from serious anemia and he urgently needed 500,000 yuan to pay for her medical costs.

"I was really worried about whether my daughter could be cured as our family could not afford the high medical costs," Chen said. "Thanks to the online charitable platform, I was able to pay for my daughter's operation."

Guo Kaitian, senior vice-president of Tencent and chairman of the foundation, said the Internet is changing the concept of philanthropy in China.

"People are increasingly turning to mobile phones to make donations. Donating to charity has become easier and more convenient," he said.

Chen admitted that a lack of trust, however, remained a problem in promoting charitable causes in China.

"Sometimes donors do not know where their money goes or whether it is spent properly. Transparency in the process is the foundation of establishing trust," Chen noted.

In a hall inside the Tencent building, a number of charitable programs are on display.

"The Brightest Tomorrow" is one of them. The project aims to improve lighting for students in rural areas by calling on people to delete unnecessary e-mails.

"Many useless e-mails occupy our storage space and cause waste in terms of financial and human resources. We've set up a team to work on this, which takes time and money. We should save the money to improve lighting for those rural students," said a supporter of the project.

Jiao Dongzi, a photographer and also a charity supporter, launched a program which focused on taking photos free-of-charge for elderly people in poverty-stricken western areas.

"Some old people have never been able to take a single photo in their life. The photo we take for them sometimes becomes their first and last photo," Jiao said.

"No matter how dilapidated the place we go to or how tired we are, we feel what we have done is worthwhile when we see how happy these elderly people are."


(China Daily USA 09/10/2015 page15)