HANGZHOU, China–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Alipay, the world’s leading payment and lifestyle platform, today announced an unprecedented initiative to support the long-term development of women’s football in China, committing RMB 1 billion over the next decade on a wide array of areas to make the sport more sustainable and accessible to girls and women across the nation.
The initiative is funded primarily by the Alipay Foundation, a charitable organization dedicated to promoting social inclusiveness. Other contributors include the Jack Ma Foundation and Joe Tsai Foundation (PRC). The funds will be allocated in four main areas to provide comprehensive, long-term support: performance improvement of the China Women’s National Football Team; injury prevention and treatment, and career development of retired footballers; technical development and coach education; and youth development. The use of funds will be jointly managed by the Alipay Foundation, Jack Ma Foundation, Joe Tsai Foundation and the Chinese Football Association.
The initiative is an extension and expansion of Alipay’s two-year-long program to support girls’ football in Qiongzhong Li and Miao Autonomous County, Hainan Province, where several girls are enrolled in national youth teams. It is also supported by Alipay’s mission to bring more equal opportunities to the world.
“Over the past two years, I’ve seen from the girls in Qiongzhong that football has brought them more than just physical fitness and technical skills. It has also opened doors for them to more life options and opportunities, as well as tenacity and fighting spirit,” said Eric Jing, Chairman and CEO of Ant Financial Services Group, an affiliate of Alibaba Group and the operator of Alipay. “This has strengthened our determination to expand our support and enable more development and innovation in women’s and girls’ football in China.”
Separately, the Alipay Foundation also announced The Wind Rider Project, an initiative dedicated to supporting girls’ football in rural China.
“We are very grateful for Alipay’s unprecedented, 10-year commitment to women’s football in China. Women’s football is not just a sport, but also a powerful social cause that encourages girls and women to pursue their dreams and ambitions,” said Cai Yong, Executive Committee Member of the Chinese Football Association.
Operated by Ant Financial Services Group, Alipay is the world’s leading payment and lifestyle platform. Launched in 2004, Alipay currently serves over 1 billion users with its local e-wallets partners. Over the years, Alipay has evolved from a digital wallet to a lifestyle enabler. Users can hail a taxi, book a hotel, buy movie tickets, pay utility bills, make appointments with doctors, or purchase wealth management products directly from within the app. In addition to online payments, Alipay is expanding to in-store offline payments both inside and outside of China. Alipay’s in-store payment service covers over 50 countries and regions across the world, and tax reimbursement via Alipay is supported in 35 countries and regions. Alipay works with over 250 overseas financial institutions and payment solution providers to enable cross-border payments for Chinese travelling overseas and overseas customers who purchase products from Chinese e-commerce sites. Alipay currently supports 27 currencies.
About Alipay Foundation
Founded in April 2019 by Ant Financial Services Group, the Alipay Foundation is a charitable organization dedicated to harnessing technology to resolve social issues and bringing more inclusive and equal opportunities to the world. The Foundation focuses on such issues as green and sustainable development, dismantling barriers to gender equality and bringing more development opportunities for women.
About Jack Ma Foundation
The Jack Ma Foundation is a charitable organization started in 2014 by the Founder and Executive Chairman of Alibaba Group. The Foundation aims to promote human potential and the protection of the environment. From education to environment issues, public health and personnel development, the Foundation intends to raise social awareness and foster responsibility to cultivate an innovative and sustainable model for the development of a better world. For more information, please visit: http://www.jackmafoundation.org.cn.
About Joe Tsai Foundation (PRC)
The Joe Tsai Foundation (PRC) was established in 2018 by the Co-Founder and Executive Vice Chairman of Alibaba Group Joe Tsai. With an emphasis on education and sports, the Foundation’s mission is to inspire young people to pursue a life of health and well-rounded development. Through empowering young people with skills and the right values, the Foundation promotes economic mobility and enables them to contribute as active members of society.