China’s billionaires came under pressure from netizens to contribute to their social causes after Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg decided to donate the majority of his wealth to a charity initiative set up along with his Chinese wife Priscilla Chan.
The 31-year-old magnate announced on Tuesday following the birth of the couple’s daughter that he would donate 99% of his Facebook shares, currently worth about $45 billion (over Rs 297,000 crore).
“He’s really a special tycoon, living in an ordinary house, wearing ordinary clothes, and finds an ordinary-looking wife,” a Weibo user wrote.
Under the hashtag “Zuckerberg donated 99% of his shares,” the topic had garnered around 5 million views since it was posted on Wednesday, state-run Global Times said in its report.
Some pointed out the marked contrast between US entrepreneurs and their Chinese counterparts who are accused of being stingy.
“The wisest person donates his money to medical care. I hope the tycoons and celebrities in China can pay more attention to the environment, healthcare and education, buy fewer luxury race cars,” another Weibo user wrote.
Others mentioned the reluctance of many of China’s wealthy to attend a dinner hosted by Warren Buffett during a 2010 trip to China to promote philanthropy.
China this year has beaten the US for the first time in the number of dollar billionaires whose numbers have climbed to 596 over Americas 537.