No kidding. Microsoft founder Bill Gates and Baidu CEO Robin Li signed an agreement to form an alliance between their charitable foundations called the “Alliance for Healthy China”. The aim is to promote healthy lifestyles and create a smoke-free environment both in China and around the world. Sounds weirdly awesome. And guess what, there’s one more thing — Li teaches Gates to speak the campaign slogan in Chinese during a media conference in Beijing. Video after the jump.
Both billionaires launched the anti-smoking campaign in Beijing, calling on Chinese people to say no to passive smoking. This is their first project together under Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Baidu Charitable Foundation, which is to push for cessation of smoking habit among smokers. And both of them put on green T-shirts reading “Say no to forced smoking” in Chinese. And Gates won a burst of applause by slowly reciting the campaign slogan in Chinese, repeating the words after Li. Cool.
This is the first time we get to see Gates and Li walking together, side-by-side. (^O^)
Local media has been waiting for this moment!
Getting ready for the media conference! Gates has a geeky look!
Both of them sign the document for the establishment of the “Alliance for Healthy China”.
And they shake hands to celebrate the establishment of the campaign!
“This will be a long-term, open-ended alliance, and Robin and I would like to welcome more partners and we expect to see more Chinese enterprises and all facets of society and focus on public issues,” Gates said. Li remarked that living healthy and green has become a common pursuit of mankind, and he said he hoped the alliance could draw more public efforts together so more and more people can benefit from it.
And they put on their campaign t-shirts!
Both billionaires seem to be excited about it.
It’s really good to hear Gates speaking Chinese! And Li seems to be a good teacher.
Considering China has 740 million second-hand smokers, the Chinese government has imposed a full-scale ban on smoking in all public places, and tobacco control is included as part of China’s five-year plan for national economic and social development. The smoking ban, effective since May 1 this year, provides a legal basis for non-smokers to protect their rights and say no to second-hand smoking. Here’s what Gates thinks about the ban,
“Doing the ban in May actually was pretty brave. Over time, they need to raise the taxes even more, they need to probably put some teeth into these regulations, but it’s a good start.”
And Gates also said China “will be a big focus” for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s work on tobacco control.
What’s more, Gates and Li 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.
Speaking of Gates’ visiting China, this 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. And you may be wondering, why Gates is teaming up with Li now? Well, 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. So, maybe, this is how the both billionaires started their friendship.
Sure, there is one thing we would like to know, the business between Microsoft and Baidu. Unfortunately, Gates declined to say whether he and Mr. Li talked business between their two companies, saying others at Microsoft handle the details of ties with Baidu. Under a revenue-sharing deal, the Chinese company provides ads that appear on Microsoft’s Bing search engine in China, and Baidu has said it wouldn’t rule out broadening the cooperation.
Besides announcing a campaign to combat smoking in China, Gates also gave a speech at Peking University in Beijing to reach out to students about the importance of charity. In his speech, Gates encouraged students to start thinking about charity and giving early.
“This is a very big change from what I was doing earlier, and it is in terms of how we measure the results. There is no longer the measure of how many copies we sell but of how many lives we save and how many children don’t get sick.”
And Gates believes that the young generation play a pivotal role in making the world a better place by leading social trends. He also talked about the importance of innovation, noting breakthrough may take a long time but it is what is needed to “promote the development of mankind.”
“In many ways it is the same because Microsoft was always about bringing innovation by hiring the smartest people, by leading as many changes as possible, putting together great teams and giving them time to do their work. Sometimes, some breakthroughs take 10 years to get done. That type of patience but leading to innovation actually characterizes what the foundation is doing.”
Here’s a question, what takes Microsoft so long to evolve their tablet idea into an iPad?
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