On the UN International Day of Charity in memory of Mother Teresa, the Alibaba Foundation, a private charity fund established by Alibaba Group, jointly with UCWeb (‘UC’), a business within Alibaba Digital Media and Entertainment Group, hosted the Global Forum of the XIN Philanthropy Conference 2018. It is the first conference of this kind to be held out of China.
Launched in 2016, the biennial conference is an important representation of Alibaba Group’s commitment to encouraging inclusive, universal and sustainable growth for businesses and communities alike – all for the greater benefit of people. The Global Forum held in Delhi under the theme of ‘Love and Infinity’ advocates for a wide public awareness and actions on Education, Children Protection and Women Empowerment. With global impacts and local insights, Alibaba Group regards India as a major part of its philanthropy roadmap, while UC’s philanthropic mission in India is to bridge the Digital Divide as much as possible.
Hosted by Indian actress and Founder of Col. Shamsher Singh Foundation Gul Panag, the Global Forum of Xin Philanthropy Conference has become a prominent gathering of Indian renowned philanthropists and public welfare advocates. Popular Hindi film superstar Kangana Ranaut has joined the roundtable to share personal experience being a frontline advocate of women equality; outstanding speakers within the global welfare and business domains includes Robin Raina, the Chairman, CEO & President of Ebix Inc. and founder of the Robin Raina Foundation, Abha Singh, lawyer, social activist and founder of Rann-Samar Foundation, etc. Current status of women equality and education, innovative solutions with “Internet plus philanthropy” model are discussed, given the trend that internet has brought disruptive change to every aspect of our lives. According to Alibaba’s philosophy of philanthropy, technology can help to lower the barrier for each individual to participate in philanthropy and unleash “The Power of Small” to drive big change for public welfare.
“As the world’s first Internet company that integrates philanthropy into its core strategy,” stated on the occasion by Shunyan Zhu, President of UC, Alibaba Digital Media and Entertainment Group, “Alibaba’s philanthropy is without a border. That’s why we take the XIN Philanthropy Conference out of China for the first time, here in India. It shows the importance of India for Alibaba. This is also the first time our Internet plus Philanthropy Model has set its foot on the global path.”
Arunima Sen, Programme Analyst for Governance, UN Women India MCO, Meagan Fallone, CEO of Barefoot College International, Soha Moitra, Regional Director of Child Rights and You, Saurabh Jain, Vice President of Paytm and Head of Paytm Build for India Initiative and Alex Li, Managing Director of Alibaba Cloud India, joined Shunyan to officially kick off the 5th September Philanthropy Week during which different business units of Alibaba Group will have multiple philanthropic programs for public participation on a global scale.
A business within Alibaba Digital Media and Entertainment Group, UC has rooted in India for 7 years, amplifying Alibaba’s charitable efforts with the global breadth and Indian depth along with its business influence and brand reputation. With its new mission of Bigger We-Media, Bigger You, UC Browser, a leading content platform with 130 million monthly active users, will work with Indian content creators to build a responsible content ecosystem. “We will use Internet technology to bridge the inequality gap, and eliminate poverty with knowledge and information,” said Mr. Shunyan Zhu.
With its user influence and brand reputation in the Indian market, UC launched a series of philanthropic projects on three main perspectives: Children Protection, Education, and Women Empowerment. UC joined hands with Indian Charity group Kailash Satyarthi Children’s Foundation and initiated the #SafeChildhoodSafeIndia campaign on June 12th, the International Anti-Child Labor Day. The UC Anti-Child Labor Initiative has gained supports from 60,000 users within one day only.
Education wise, in line with India government policy, Alibaba Group launched the “Mission Million Books”. Initiated in 2016, the project aims to donate 1 million books to underprivileged schools and colleges across India to help educate and empower the country’s children and youth. Books collected via various donation routes are distributed to these educational institutions at no cost. In a short span over 8 lac books have already been collected and close to 7 lac donated impacting close to 2.5 million students across more than 2000 institutes in India. Another effort to improve children education is UC Shiksha campaign. UC Shiksha is a user-powered online-to-offline book donation program, attracted a participation of 1.5 million users within two months and benefited 50,000 students. UC is planning to expand the reach and depth of the project to help more children in need in a more comprehensive way.
In light of the positive result of UC Shiksha, UC determines to fully utilise the influence of its platform for philanthropy. In collaboration with 10 charitable organizations and philanthropic advocates in India, UC Browser is about to launch the UC Hope, a charity channel for local charitable content. The channel aims to increase users’ awareness on the social issues in India and to nurture empathy by news-feeding the philanthropic content.
Apart from empowering local charitable organisations, UC strives to empower the women in India. As the second most populated country, India possesses unexplored power from women. Based on the belief that the Internet is an equal platform, UC Browser established the UC Women’s channel, firstly in India, that provides knowledge in lifestyle, fashion, and career, it allows women to focus on self-growth and self-realization. The women-oriented news channel has affected 7.5 million users since its launch in April. In addition to that, UC kicks off #Shedeservestoknow campaign led by the well-known Bollywood actress Kangana Ranaut and winners of UC Miss Cricket. They share the knowledge of how women should empower themselves via #Shedervestoknow. “I pride myself of being a fearless woman who believes that women empowerment is a movement that has to take over the world. It has been a pleasure for me to be here to witness a brand like Alibaba and UC encouraging women and providing us with a platform where digital literacy and empowerment are primary focuses,” said Ms. Kangana Ranaut, who is also associated with the #Shedeservestoknow empowerment project.
About Alibaba Foundation
In 2011, Alibaba Group established the Alibaba Foundation, a private charity fund which has earmarked 0.3% of Alibaba Group’s annual revenue to fund efforts designed to support environmental protection in China and helping the disadvantaged. In the fiscal year 2018, Alibaba Group and the Alibaba Foundation made approximately RMB230 million (US$37 million) in donations.