Pony Ma, the founder of Chinese online giant Tencent Holdings, announced plans Monday to donate 100 million shares in the company to its foundation, Reuters reports. The donation of stock worth about $2.1 billion to the Tencent Foundation represents what is believed to be the second-largest charitable gift ever in China, which recently overtook the United States as the country with the most billionaires.
Mr. Ma said the donation will primarily support medical, educational, and environmental causes in his home country. He is the chairman and CEO of Tencent, China's largest social network and online entertainment firm. The gift heralds "a boom for China in terms of philanthropy," with corporate leaders increasingly turning their attention to giving, said Wei Peiran, a research fellow at Harvard University's Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation.