In China the internet is becoming very popular as a way to conveniently donate to good causes. In 2015 about 270 million people participated in charitable donations and philanthropic activities through Alibaba’s website, producing donations worth 190 million Yuan, claimed an Alibaba’s spokesperson at a press conference on April the 6th. Mr.Tao, a frequent user of Taobao present at the occasion, recalled taking part in donating discounts, free lunch activities, and philanthropic bidding for videos of stars through the website. The form of online philanthropy he has come into contact with most, however, is the “philanthropic goods” project. Certain goods carry the “philanthropic good” designation, meaning that the seller will donate a certain amount of money to a designated philanthropic project every time one of the goods is sold. There are now over 200 million of these “philanthropic goods” on the website, causing 1.5 million sellers to donate in 2015.
“In this way Alibaba incorporates philanthropic participation into people’s daily lives”, says Jin Jianhang, the president of Alibaba. Online philanthropy still has much potential, and the cumulative effect should not be overlooked: Taobao users donated 6 cents for each deal on average, but they ended up helping about 2 million people.
The “Alibaba Joint philanthropy project and the Philanthropic Goods Plan 2.0” (阿里巴巴联合公益暨公益宝贝2.0计划) were announced on the same day. The project incorporates efforts of the China Foundation for Poverty Alleviation (中国扶贫基金会), the China Charities Aid Foundation for Children (中华儿慈会), and the Amity Foundation (爱德基金会). It hopes to select good philanthropic projects and help them realize their value through users’ donations.