Xiandong Jing, who also goes by Eric, has been executive chairman and chief executive of Ant Financial, Alipay’s parent company, since 2016. In the role, he has presided over what is perhaps the largest consumer-driven green initiative in the world.
Alipay runs a mini programme called Ant Forest, which rewards its 500 million users with “green energy” points for making small, environmentally-friendly decisions in their daily lives. This could be eschewing plastic bags at affiliated supermarkets; trading used goods on Alibaba’s second-hand exchange platform; or doing video conferences instead of travelling to in-person meetings.
Working with Chinese NGOs, the Ant Forest team has used these points to plant a huge 100 million real trees in arid areas of the country — such as Mongolia, Gansu, Qinhai and Shanxi. Ant Forest users can view their planted trees in real time via satellite and press a button to water them.
In a press release, Jing says he is proud of the Ant Forest because it embodies the belief that technology should be used for social good. “We are grateful to our many users and partners who have helped plant 100 million trees and advance a shared vision of sustainable and inclusive development”.
Jing holds an MBA from the University of Minnesota and an undergraduate degree from Shanghai Jiao Tong University.Tags: alibaba, china