A collaborative painting co-authored by Jack Ma, was sold for nearly RMB 30 million ( USD 4.7 million) at an auction held by Sotheby’s in Hong Kong on Sunday, NetEase Tech reports.
The final bid was offered by an anonymous bidder for almost 28 times the starting bid, with all proceeds from the auction designated for environmental causes.
This is the first time Ma has produced a painting for auction. The oil painting is named, Taohuayuan or Peach Blossom Land and was created in 2014 by Ma in cooperation with Zeng Zhigao, a well-known artist in China.
The work was painted on a rare piece of round canvas and made significant use of the color blue, as a symbol for the color of the earth.
“It was a great honor collaborating with Mr Zeng in completing this painting,” said Ma. “We created this piece to arouse people’s awareness of environmental issues and hope that it will encourage people to protect the earth, the ocean, the air and the water.”
Ma resigned as CEO of Alibaba in May 2013 while acting as the executive chairman of Alibaba Group, explaining that he wished to focus on environmental protection and promoting education.
In 2010, he took the lead in organizing a group of entrepreneurs to build the Western Sichuan Conservation Fund and created a project to protect the local environment.
In 2013, he announced Alibaba had donated five million USD to the China Global Conservation Fund.
In April 2015, he became the Co-Chair of Taohuayuan Ecological Protection Fund, with Tencent CEO, Pony Ma.
Following Alibaba’s IPO in 2014, Ma became one of China’s wealthiest businessmen. Ma pointed out that his present purpose in life is to give back to society after having benefitted so immensely.
“The competition between Bill Gates and I is about who can use our money better to promote charity work.” said Ma.
Edited by Rohan Malhotra
(Mochou Lee is a guest writer at AllChinaTech.)