Tencent founder Pony Ma to give shares worth $2b to charity

Tencent Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Pony Ma Huateng attends a news conference announcing the company's results in Hong Kong, China March 17, 2016. REUTERS/Bobby Yip

The founder of China’s Tencent Holdings Ltd, Pony Ma, said he plans to donate 100 million company shares worth more than $2 billion to the firm’s charity foundation.

Ma, one of China’s richest with an estimated fortune of $18.8 billion, said the donation would go towards supporting medical, educational and environmental causes in China.

Hong Kong-listed shares in Tencent, China’s largest social network and online entertainment firm, closed up 0.24 percent at HK$165.70 on Monday, making the donation worth about $2.1 billion.

“After 10 years of exploration and participation in philanthropic activities, I increasingly feel that there is a need for a more longer-term, efficient and organised way to give back to society,” he said in a statement on Monday.

The Tencent Foundation was established in 2007 and cooperates with other charity organisations, the company said.

An October survey of China’s super-rich found China has overtaken the United States as the country with the most billionaires.

Ma’s large donation is unusual in a country where philanthropy has yet to take off.

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and fellow billionaire Warren Buffett made headlines in 2010 when they asked 50 of China’s richest people to a philanthropy dinner. A third turned the invitation down, reportedly due to fears they would be pressed to donate money.

Reuters

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

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  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.