As of April, over 110,000 merchants on Ele.me, Alibaba Group’s on-demand food delivery platform, have participated in charity projects through “Caring Merchant” program, with a total donation amount of nearly 3 million yuan ($425,242) in six months.
Last November, Ele.me launched the “Caring Merchant” charity program for merchants on its platform. The donations received there are currently being utilized by China Foundation for Rural Development to provide nutritious meals to rural students. The initial fund of 1 million yuan from this channel provided meals to 1,130 students in five rural schools located in Guangnan County, Yunnan Province.
Zhangliang Malatang, a hot pot restaurant chain, saw over 500 branches joining the program, making it the No.1 by the number of participating stores. In addition to restaurant chains, a large number of small merchants are also making contributions.
“This program is very convenient for merchants who are willing to engage in charity but often struggle to find right channels. It motivates me every day”, said Teng Lei, a restaurant owner who ranked among the top donors in April in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province.
Ele.me has promised to enhance the “Caring Merchant” program and introduce additional charity projects based on feedback from merchants to enable more people to engage in charitable services.