Chairman Bill Gates of Microsoft Corp and Robin Li, CEO of China’s giant search engine Baidu, will join forces to form an alliance for public health. Their first project together under Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Baidu Charitable Foundation is to push for cessation of smoking habit among smokers. Bill Gates said the many people under Baidu are a great asset in getting out health-related messages. He hopes other people will join in. It was Gates’ second trip to China. The first was in September with Warren Buffett when they met with 50 Chinese leaders to talk about charitable donations. Gates encourages the rich to be more charitable and with Buffett started the Giving Pledge project. They traveled to India to spread the project’s aim.
In 1975, Gates co-founded Microsoft which became the world’s giant software maker making Gates one of the world’s richest men, with a net worth of $56 billion. He became less active in managing Microsoft in 2008 and now runs the Gates Foundation. In his trip to China, Gates also met with Chinese Premier Wang Qishan to discuss charity work and poverty reduction. Gates said he met Li a year ago and they started talking about charity. Li said Gates had always been a role model to him even before he began Baidu, that he bought a copy of Gates’ biography after he graduated. Li is from Yangquan, born to factory-worker parents. He received his bachelor’s degree from Peking University and proceeded to get a computer science master’s degree from the State University of New York. Li received a link analysis patent in 1996. The analysis ranks the number of search listings’ though incoming sites’ links. He used the research and founded China’s search engine, Baidu. He is currently one of China’s richest
In their initial project, Li said they will increase smokers’ awareness of the dangers of active and passive smoking. They also intend to spread the health alliance’s initiatives and health messages via online community. There may be over 300 million smokers in China but there are over 477 million Internet users hence it is easier to spread awareness through that avenue. The open-ended public health alliance will be active in China and around the world.