China’s e-commerce giant Alibaba Group will invest 100 billion yuan – around 15.5 billion dollars – by 2025 to support the country’s drive for “common prosperity,” the company said, becoming the latest firm to commit to the national goal of reducing wealth inequality.
Alibaba confirmed that the funds will be used to promote investments in technology, support small and medium-sized enterprises, foster development in rural areas and improve insurance protection for gig economy workers, including deliverymen and ride-hailing drivers.
It will set up a permanent unit to launch the program and establish a 20-billion yuan fund earmarked for common prosperity development.
Alibaba has been under regulatory scrutiny for issues ranging from monopolistic behavior to consumer right infringements. In April, it was fined a record 18.2 billion yuan – 4 percent of its 2019 domestic sales – for violating the country’s Anti-Monopoly Law.