Microsoft founder Bill Gates on Monday took to the pages of the People’s Daily, the mouthpiece newspaper of China’s ruling Communist Party, to encourage people in China to do more for the poor.
“China has many successful entrepreneurs and business people. I hope that more people of insight will put their talents to work to improve the lives of poor people in China and around the world, and seek solutions for them,” Gates wrote in an editorial.
Philanthropy in China has yet to take off, as some wealthy Chinese fear generous donations could invite unwanted attention on their fortunes. China ranks towards the bottom of the list of countries where people give money to charity, volunteer or help a stranger, according to The World Giving Index, compiled by the Charities Aid Foundation.
The editorial by Gates comes just days after the founders of Chinese internet company Alibaba Group Holding Ltd announced the establishment of a charitable trust which will focus on the environment and health, and could be worth as much as $3 billion, making it one of the biggest in Asia.
Reports in the past two years by the New York Times and Bloomberg News have chronicled the accumulation of spectacular wealth among family members of some of China’s top Communist Party leaders.