Alibaba Group’s UCWeb, on behalf of its philanthropic arm Alibaba Foundation, hosted the second Philanthropy Forum in India today in a bid to drive universal education in the country. Initiatives announced in the forum include the establishment of “Internet plus Philanthropy Model” by UCWeb, Alibaba’s browser unit, which aims to create a responsible content ecosystem that helps narrow the digital divide, create jobs and alleviate poverty in India. UC Browser is the world’s No.1 third-party mobile browser with 1.1 billion user downloads worldwide (excluding China) with half of its global installs from India.
The New Delhi forum, part of Alibaba Foundation’s 9.5 Philanthropy Conference 2019 held in Hangzhou, China today, focuses on education in India and how the internet can be leveraged to empower everyone by giving them equal opportunities for an education.
Hosted by Indian Actor and Author Tisca Chopra, the forum brought together many outstanding speakers from the global welfare, business and social domains including Ms Atishi Marlena, National Executive Advisor to Deputy CM, Govt of NCT of Delhi, Actor Richa Chadha and UNICEF Representative Lalita Sachdeva, amongst others.
Addressing the conference, Mr Huaiyuan Yang, Vice President of UCWeb Global Business said, “In line with Jack Ma’s belief that ‘to earn respect, we have to do good for the world’, Alibaba is the world’s first Internet Company that integrates philanthropy into its core strategy. In accordance to this UC is initiating the concept of “Internet plus Philanthropy” – a transparent and effective model that will use the power of the Internet to mobilize all to participate in a good cause. We aim to construct a responsible content ecosystem using internet technologies to pass on information and knowledge and narrow the digital gap as part of our long-term commitment to the Indian market.”
Congratulating Alibaba Foundation on expanding its roadmap in India, Honorable Lt. Governor of Puducherry and Magsaysay Award Winner, Dr. Kiran Bedi, in a video message said, “It is a privilege for me to be invited to this platform. It is just the right time for Alibaba Foundation to take steps in this direction, as it is in line with the vision of our Prime Minister – to spread digital literacy among one and all – especially the rural and underprivileged.”
Ms Atishi Marlena, National Executive Advisor to Deputy CM, Govt of NCT of Delhi and Member, Political Affairs Committee, Aam Aadmi Party said, “Education is the cornerstone on which everything else in the society is based. I feel heartened that philanthropy in education is seeing corporate interest and companies such as Alibaba, who have tremendous clout, are pitching in. I envision a bright future for India through the upliftment of this sector.”
The Alibaba Foundation initiated the ‘9.5 Philanthropy Week’ in 2017, calling on members of society to spend 3 hours getting involved in philanthropic activities, with the belief that “Everyone Participates for a Better Future”. Besides organizing and funding charity programs, the Alibaba Foundation uses Alibaba’s technological advantages to help and empower NGOs to grow faster from all dimensions including data, product, and operation. It also utilizes the characteristics of the internet to make philanthropy more scientific and effective.
Bollywood Actor Richa Chadha, delivering the Keynote Address on “The Power of Small” said, “There is nothing more empowering than education and access to information in the world today. I am delighted that companies like Alibaba and UCWeb are paying attention to this aspect and are encouraging each one of us to contribute to this cause.” Richa has been a part of UNICEF’s GoBlue Campaign that urges society to provide kids a secure environment for education.
Alibaba Group started its philanthropy initiative ‘Mission Million Books’ in 2016 with the aim to donate 1 million books to underprivileged schools and colleges across India to help educate and empower the country’s children and youth, in sync with Indian government’s policy on education. Till date, over 9 lakh books have already been collected and close to 7.5 lakh donated, benefiting close to 2.5 million students from more than 2500 education institutes in India.
UCWeb, using its user influence and brand reputation in the Indian market, has also launched a series of philanthropic projects, ranging from education and children protection to women empowerment in the county. One such initiative is the UC Shiksha campaign, a user-powered online-to-offline book donation program, which has drawn the participation of millions of users. So far, more than 1 lakh books have been donated since the launch of the program, benefiting over 3 lakh children. At the 2019 forum, UC also launched the ‘50K Book Challenge’ – a plan to further donate 50,000 books in a span of 10 days. UC is planning to expand the reach and depth of these projects to help more children in need in a more comprehensive way.
UC has transformed from a browser tool to a content platform and has built a content ecosystem to provide users with a variety of instant and high-quality content. The transformation is based on UC’s insights towards change in need of local users. UC has introduced advanced content production relationships- working with key media and We-media in an innovative model to provide users with more valuable content. As of now, there are around 120,000 registered accounts on UC We-media platform in India, and more than 700 media organisations and groups are in close content collaboration with UC. UC Browser owns more than 20 channels that cover entertainment, sports, fashion, celebrities and various other categories of content in 15 key languages for Indian users.