Internet giant joins hands with Grameen China
Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus launched Grameen China on Wednesday, which will implement microcredit projects and social business in China.
It will also organise an annual social business forum in China and bring together people from different sectors interested in such business, Yunus Centre said in a statement yesterday.
JD.com, a leading direct sales e-commerce company in China and the 11th largest internet company in the world with a market cap of $36 billion, teamed up with Grameen China.
JD.com will use its JD Finance platform to generate crowd-funding to finance the operations of Grameen China, according to the statement. Richard Liu, founder and chairman of JD.com, joined Prof Yunus in launching Grameen China.
Xu Xiaonian, professor of economics and finance at China Europe International Business School; Min Tang, executive vice chairman of the YouChange Entrepreneur Foundation; Gao Zhan, executive vice president of Grameen China, were present at the launch.
Yunus reached China on December 15 to attend the launch programme and a number of events organised by the Chinese Association of Microfinance.
During his five-day stay in China, Yunus also visited Lukou village in Jiangsu province in southern China, more than 1,000 kilometres from Beijing, to see the operations of Grameen China.
Grameen initiated a microcredit programme in Lukou under the direction of experienced staff from Bangladesh.
Yunus took part in a workshop with the villagers, where migration of young people from villages to cities for higher income was one of the major issues.
The workshop shed light on how to create social businesses generating attractive income for the young in the villages.
As the chief guest, Yunus on December 15 joined an annual microcredit conference organised by CAM and attended by 700 microcredit practitioners, academics, policymakers, company executives and students.
Yunus also had a high-level meeting with Madam Wu, chairman of the People's Congress Committee on Rural Finance Office at the Central Bank of China, to discuss issues related to finance for the poor in China at her office in the central bank.
Yunus was also invited to join hands with a collaborative programme with Tencent, the fifth largest internet company in the world after Google, Amazon, Alibaba and e-Bay. The proposal was made by Arthur Cao, owner of Tencent, which has a bank called WeBank and WeChat, the biggest internet search engine in China.
Later, Cao, Yunus and Dr Sun Xuetao, secretary of Longnan Municipal Committee of the Communist Party of China, discussed the outline of collaboration among Tencent, City of Longnan and Yunus Centre for social business and microcredit initiatives in the city.
“If it works, Tencent can take this collaboration to other cities, counties, and provinces,” Yunus Centre said.
Yunus also gave a public lecture on the potential of social business to transform societies to an audience of 800 at Peking University, where he is a visiting professor.