BEIJING - With a donation of 300 million shares from billionaire Cao Dewang's company, China's first charity foundation financed with stocks was set up on Thursday to step up the country's efforts to fight poverty.
The Heren Foundation, named after Cao's late father, is the largest charity foundation in China, with those shares fetching a market value of 3.55 billion yuan ($538 million).
According to the foundation, the money will be mainly used to provide financial support in education, health care and other projects designed to help the poor in the country's impoverished regions.
While expressing admiration for Cao's deed, Lu Yongxiang, vice chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, China's top legislature, called upon people from all walks of life to participate in the country's philanthropy.
Lu noted that the country's legislatures are facing new challenges to protect donors' rights, as well as ensure the lawful management and effective use of charity funds.
The foundation is sponsored by the Overseas Chinese Affairs Office of the State Council.
Cao, president of Fuyao Glass Industry Group Co, Ltd., based in Fuzhou city, east China's Fujian province, topped the list of 173 philanthropists whose personal donations reached at least 1 million yuan ($51,515) last year.
Cao claimed that his donations has amounted to 5 billion yuan since he first began donating money to charities in 1983.