Jack Ma's Alibaba has been ranked in first place on a recent corporate social responsibility index measuring 110 well-known Chinese enterprises.
The annual index, jointly developed by the Corporate Legal Research Center at Shanghai Jiaotong University and the Political Science Institute of East China University of Political Science and Law (ECUPL), noted that the gap between corporate social responsibility for private companies and state-owned enterprises (SOE) is in fact narrowing, with the private sector making steady progress.
The report evaluated 89 SOEs and 21 private companies in total. In addition to Alibaba, private companies like telecom equipment manufacturer ZTE, Chinese home appliance giant Midea and internet giant Tencent also ranked in the top 10, occupying the 4th, 6th and 7th places respectively.
The report pointed out that the average ratings of private enterprises were higher than those of SOEs when it came to responsibilities both within the company and to society. Average responsibility ratings were close on health development.
According to Zhu, the 110 companies surveyed cover 19 industries, mainly from the mining and banking industries. There was only one company representing the medical industry - Sinopharm Group, which ranked 51st. Companies in information and software service, oil and gas, mining and manufacturing generally had higher ratings. The banking industry was found to have the lowest average ratings.
Gao Qiqi, dean of the Political Science Institute of ECUPL and also one of the project managers for the index, said that the project is the most objective and comprehensive index available; it aims to help China break away from excessive reliance on international indices.
The new index was calculated based on four indicators: self-responsibility, industry responsibility, community responsibility and national responsibility. The companies were evaluated on aspects ranging from creditors and labor rights to fair competition to environmental protection and philanthropy.