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Taobao’s ‘Panda Gifts’: Spreading Joy to 1 Million Children Across 11 Countries

Over three years of dedicated efforts, Taobao, the online marketplace operated by Alibaba Group, along with millions of caring merchants and hundreds of millions of consumers, has transformed 2.6 billion acts of generosity into “Panda Gifts” for 1 million children across 11 countries worldwide. These gifts, ranging from educational supplies to daily necessities, serve as tokens of love and care from the Chinese people to children in need.

The announcement came during the summary meeting of the International Love Parcel Project held by the China Foundation for Poverty Alleviation on March 22nd. In February 2021, the foundation forged a strategic partnership with Alibaba’s public welfare arm, establishing the International Love Parcel Initiative, dubbed “Panda Pack.” Leveraging Alibaba’s philanthropic platform, consumers and merchants rallied together, generating over 1.28 billion RMB in donations based on the 2.6 billion charitable transactions.

Each “Panda Gift” package, valued at 150 RMB, contains a variety of items categorized into learning, daily living, and hygiene essentials, totaling 102 items. These packages not only equip children with tools for their education but also provide practical items like towels, soap, lunch boxes, and plush toys, enriching their daily lives.

The initiative operates on the foundation of Taobao’s innovative “Public Welfare Commodities” model, originating from the “Love Commodities” initiative launched in 2006. Merchants can designate certain products as “Public Welfare Commodities” and set a donation amount for each transaction. When consumers purchase these items, marked with the “Public Welfare Commodities” label, a portion of the proceeds automatically goes to designated charitable organizations and projects. This seamless integration of philanthropy with high-frequency commercial transactions has shaped a participatory and sustainable model of public welfare.

Through this internet-based philanthropic model centered around “Public Welfare Commodities,” numerous merchants and consumers on Taobao and Tmall consistently support over 2000 high-quality public welfare projects operated by more than 200 charitable organizations. To ensure transparency and accountability, Alibaba’s public welfare arm initiated the “Blockchain-based Public Welfare Plan,” leveraging blockchain technology to track donation flows, ensuring every cent is traceable.

Children in the 11 beneficiary countries, including Myanmar, Nepal, Ethiopia, Cambodia, Laos, Pakistan, Namibia, Uganda, and Mongolia, have shown great appreciation for the “Panda Packages.” Upon receiving these gifts, they cherish and utilize them effectively, which in turn positively impacts their families, schools, and communities.

Near Noriko Primary School in Cambodia, less than 200 meters away, lies the humble abode of 11-year-old Yibin and his grandmother. Yibin’s parents migrated to distant lands when he was yet to start school, leaving no trace behind. His grandmother, in her twilight years, earns a living by selling salt, chili, and Cambodia’s specialty pepper at the local market. Yibin has never owned a toy of his own until the “Hug Hug” mascot from the love parcel became his first cherished possession.

Lin Yuan, director of the Myanmar office of the China Foundation for Poverty Alleviation, remarked, “In distant lands, a single individual serves as a window to an entire nation; an effective philanthropic project is akin to China’s ‘smile’ extended to another country.”

Over the span of three years, the International Love Parcel Project, powered by Alibaba’s digital capabilities, tackled fundraising challenges at the source and ensured the implementation and impact of donations through the “Blockchain-based Public Welfare Plan.” This project has gradually established a mature and universal model for Chinese social organizations to engage in international aid across multiple countries. In 2024, it was recognized as the “Best Poverty Alleviation Case” by the United Nations.

The China Foundation for Poverty Alleviation and Alibaba’s public welfare arm will continue to refine and upgrade the project after three years of exploration, extending assistance to more disadvantaged children worldwide. According to Alibaba’s 2024 annual report, in 2023 alone, over 500 million internet users helped support 2,450 public welfare projects operated by 214 charitable organizations through the purchase of public welfare commodities from over 2.28 million merchants on Taobao and Tmall. These efforts translate into tangible assistance and support for vulnerable groups such as left-behind children, marginalized women, and elderly individuals in China and globally.

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