China’s Alibaba promises $15.5B for development initiatives

BEIJING (AP) — E-commerce giant Alibaba Group says it will spend $15.5 billion to support President Xi Jinping’s campaign to spread China’s prosperity more evenly. Its announcement adds to pledges by tech companies that are under pressure to pay for the ruling Communist Party’s political initiatives. Alibaba said it will invest in 10 projects for job creation, “care for vulnerable groups” and technology innovation. Alibaba and other Chinese tech giants including games and social media service Tencent Holdings Ltd have announced plans to invest in social welfare, technology development and other ruling party priorities in response to pressure to align with Beijing’s political and economic plans.