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Microsoft's Bill Gates, in Communist paper, calls for more people in China to help poor

Published on Apr 28, 2014 11:21 AM
Mr Gates wrote in an editorial: "Investing for the poor requires participation from the entire community." -- FILE PHOTO: REUTERS

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - 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," Mr Gates wrote in an editorial. "Investing for the poor requires participation from the entire community."

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 Mr Gates, who runs the US$38 billion (S$47.7 billion) Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, 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 US$3 billion, making it one of the biggest in Asia.

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