Jack Ma Foundation clarifies sources of funding for overseas aid in response to online criticism

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After facing questions and doubts from netizens regarding the sources of funding for its recent donations of medical aid to other countries, the Jack Ma Foundation has issued a statement clarifying that all the funds used by the foundation for the fight against COVID-19 in China and more than 140 other countries have come from personal donations by Mr. Jack Ma (Ma Yun), the co-founder of Alibaba, and there is not “a single penny” that has come from public fundraising.

The statement, released on the 28th of March, is jointly signed by the Jack Ma Foundation and the Alibaba Foundation, and entitled “Regarding our foundations’ sources of funding, what we want to say is all here” (关于基金会的资金来源,我们想说的都在这里了).

屏幕快照 2020-03-30 下午3.03.06
The statement clarifies that “the Jack Ma Foundation was established in 2014. It is a charitable foundation whose funds are all provided by Mr. Ma personally. The foundation currently focuses on education, entrepreneurship, female leadership and environmental protection. As of now, the Jack Ma Foundation has received no funds from third parties. In order to make charity more transparent and motivate more people to participate, the Jack Ma Foundation’s discloses the use of all its donations to the society. The Jack Ma Foundation has publicly disclosed the use of all its funds on its official website for the last five years, and everyone’s criticism and supervision is welcome.”

In addition, the Alibaba Foundation stated that the company’s board of directors decided to use 0.3% of the group’s annual turnover for charity in 2010, and then the company’s charitable foundation was formally established in 2011. All the Alibaba Foundation’s funds have come from this source in the past 10 years, and no third-party donations have been accepted.

Over the past few weeks, the Jack Ma Foundation’s donations of millions of masks and large batches of other medical equipment to multiple countries, including Japan, Italy, and the entire African Union (via Ethiopia) have attracted much attention and praise. Some Chinese netizens, however, expressed doubts regarding the sources of the funding, wondering whether donations from the Chinese public were being used to provide aid abroad. It is common for some netizens to express displeasure when funds from within the country are used for humanitarian purposes in other countries.