Alibaba to use $15.5 bil. for 'common prosperity'

Chinese media say e-commerce giant Alibaba Group plans to earmark roughly 15.5 billion dollars by 2025 to help achieve the government's goal of narrowing the country's wealth gap.

President Xi Jinping's administration stepped up its "common prosperity" campaign last month, encouraging companies and well-off individuals to share their wealth.

Chinese media reported on Thursday that Alibaba intends to form a specialized unit for the drive.

The company will likely facilitate digitalization in communities that have lagged behind. It is also expected to set up a fund to create a ''demonstration zone'' to embody the "common prosperity" vision.

Other Chinese companies have also responded to the government's initiative. IT giant Tencent Holdings unveiled a plan last month to set aside about 7.7 billion dollars for low-income earners.

Experts on the Chinese economy say businesses are trying to avert further pressure from Beijing amid its tightening grip on the influence of large tech firms.