Hangzhou, China, February 13, 2019 - Alibaba Group’s Taobao marketplace had a banner year for philanthropy in 2018, raising RMB440 million from two million merchants and 427 million shoppers and helping an estimated 8.7 million people.
Taobao’s four initiatives – and the results they garnered – make it China’s largest online philanthropy platform, in terms of total participation.
“As a marketplace with extensive reach in China, we have already enabled small businesses engaging with their customers and generating opportunities. We are thinking different ways to utilize the influence of our marketplace. Turning in philanthropy is a good example how Taobao can provide a viable channel to conduct charity initiatives creatively and effectively with just one click. The accumulation of small, thoughtful and compassionate acts from individuals each day can make a big difference at the end,” said Jiang Fan, President of Taobao.
Money and other resources raised via Taobao benefit not only the poor and unfortunate in China, but also people and programs in Ethiopia and Myanmar. The platform supports causes ranging from poverty alleviation, education and environmental protection, to child care and animal protection, as well as illness and disaster relief.
Taobao’s Four Philanthropy Programs
Taobao’s four philanthropy programs – “Goods for Good,” “Online Charity Stores,” the “Three-hour Voluntary Service Platform” and “Steps for Charity” – attracted participation from over 427 million users, who performed 7.9 billion charitable actions in 2018, including donations of time and money.
Goods for Good
In 2018, over two million Taobao merchants took part in the “Goods for Good” program and generated RMB364 million in donations on an average of 20 million transactions per day. Participating merchants pledged a percentage of the price of their merchandise as a donation to their designated charitable organization or good causes. When customers purchase the products on Taobao, the system directly transfers the amount to the chosen organization.
The impact of blending e-commerce and philanthropy was most evident during Alibaba’s 11.11 Global Shopping Festival in 2018, when an unprecedented 300 million charitable transactions were executed in 24 hours by 100 million consumers.
Online Charity Stores
Consumers can also purchase items from online stores set up by not-for-profit organizations on Taobao. Money from transactions was donated directly to support a wide range of charitable causes, from offering meals to people in need to sponsoring education for underprivileged students. Funded by purchases from these online stores, the “Free Lunch” project was able to provide more than 56.5 million free meals to rural school students in 2018. Also last year, the “Online Charity Stores” program raised RMB75.43 million from 2.73 million customers. More than half of the donors were people born in the 1990s.
Three-hour Voluntary Service Platform
The program originates from a program for Alibaba employees to participate in three hours of voluntary charity service every year. In 2017, Taobao extended the program on its platform by encouraging its users to commit service to designated charity organizations. Over 1,100 charity organizations have offered more than two million voluntary service opportunities through the program. As of December 2018, a cumulative 17 million users had engaged in the “Three-hour Voluntary Service Platform.”
Steps for Charity
Through the Taobao app, users can pledge to donate the number of steps they’ve walked every day to charity, with Taobao merchants or other corporates matching these steps with monetary donations to charity projects, such as building jogging paths for schools in poverty-stricken areas in China. In a little more than six months since “Steps for Charity” was launched in 2018, users have donated more than 90 billion steps to the initiative, enough to circle the earth 1,125 times.
About Taobao Marketplace
Launched in 2003, Taobao Marketplace (www.taobao.com) is a social commerce platform that allows consumers to enjoy an engaging, personalized shopping experience, optimized by big-data analytics. Through highly relevant and engaging content and real-time updates from merchants, consumers can learn about products and new trends as well as interact with each other and their favorite merchants and brands on Taobao Marketplace. Merchants on Taobao Marketplace are primarily individuals and small businesses. According to Analysys, Taobao Marketplace was China’s largest mobile commerce destination in terms of gross merchandise value in 2017. Taobao Marketplace is a business of Alibaba Group.
About Alibaba Group
Alibaba Group’s mission is to make it easy to do business anywhere and the company aims to achieve sustainable growth for 102 years. For the fiscal year ended March 31, 2018, the company reported revenue of US$39.9 billion.