Forbes releases 2019 China Philantropists List: Xu Jiayin ranks first, Jack Ma takes third place

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Forbes has released its annual China Philanthropist List for the thirteenth time. The total cash donations of the 100 entrepreneurs (or enterprises) on the list amount to 19.17 billion yuan, 10.7% more than last year’s 17.31 billion yuan, and the highest value of the past seven years.

The threshold to enter the ranking stands at 18 million yuan, the highest in history, compared to last year’s 13 million yuan. The list includes 48 entrepreneurs who donated more than 100 million yuan, with total donations of 17.09 billion yuan between them, accounting for 89% of the total.

Xu Jiayin, the chairman of Evergrande Group, topped the China Philanthropist List for the fourth consecutive year, with total donations of 4.07 billion yuan. Country Garden Group’s president Yang Guoqiang took second place with total donations of 1.65 billion yuan. The third-ranked entrepreneur was Jack Ma (Ma Yun), the well-known chairman of Alibaba, with total donations of 980 million yuan. In fourth position came Tencent’s Chairman and CEO, Ma Huateng, donating 730 million yuan.

Looking at the areas in which the donations are spent, it appears that education and poverty alleviation were the two main destinations this year. In particular, educational donations account for half of the total, and most entrepreneurs are very happy to donate cash or set up special educational funds for their alma maters.

The ranking reveals that in 2018 the total donations received by universities across China was 4.36 billion yuan. The top ten universities that received the most were Peking University, Tsinghua, Fuzhou University, the University of Science and Technology of China, Wuhan University, Xihu University, Sun Yat-Sen University, Hangzhou Normal University, Huazhong University of Science and Technology and Nankai University. Peking University, Tsinghua University and Fuzhou University, which ranked in the top three, accounted for half of the total.

Looking at the cities in which the listed companies are located, Beijing, Shenzhen and Shanghai unsurprisingly have the largest number. In addition, among the 100 entrepreneurs who made the Forbes ranking last year, 42 are still in the list this year. All in all, the rankings indicate that charitable donations by private entrepreneurs are growing fast within China.