Cover Joseph Tsai, Jack Ma

The tech giant and Chinese billionaires made the pledge on Friday to grow their national women's football team

China’s national women’s football team will receive a generous 1 billion yuan (HK$1.3 billion) donation thanks to Alipay, Alibaba’s co-founder Jack Ma and executive vice chairman Joseph Tsai.

On Friday, Alipay, the online payments company owned by Alibaba, announced that it would make a financial commitment to support China’s women’s football over the next 10 years. Jack and Joseph’s foundations would also be contributing to the cause.

“We want to work with China women’s soccer and be their strongest advocate,” Eric Jing, CEO of Alipay, said in a press release. “Through new ideas, our technology, funds and resources, we hope to better support the development of China’s women’s soccer.” According to the company, this is the biggest donation made to women’s soccer in China in history.


The investment will focus on injury prevention and treatment, career development of retired players along with coaching and “the development of young players,” according to Alipay’s statement.

The announcement came as the US Women’s National Team clinched its fourth World Cup victory on Sunday. China’s team, which has been dubbed the “steel roses,” used to be a powerhouse, placing in the 1999 World Cup finals, reports CNN. This year, they ranked 16th globally and were knocked out in the World Cup’s quarter finals.

This isn’t the first time that Alipay’s invested in football. In November, the company signed a HK$1.7 billion sponsorship with the Union of European Football Associations. Meanwhile, Alibaba has invested into China’s football club Guangzhou Evergrande.

In 2018, Jack, whose net worth is US$37 billion according to Forbes, announced that he’d be stepping down from his role as Alibaba’s executive chairman to focus on philanthropy.

See also: 50 Philanthropists In Asia You Need To Know

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