Weibo customers fretted about all the things, from how the couple would divide their huge fortune as to if the divorce would have an effect on Microsoft or their charitable basis. Through their philanthropic group, the pair have spent $53.8 billion on international well being, poverty alleviation and different initiatives. Bill Gates is price about $146 billion, based on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index
, and the couple has pledged to provide the overwhelming majority of their wealth away to charity.
“You and Melinda have made huge contributions to people around the world. Even if you don’t hold hands together in future life, I hope your foundation can still continue and help more people,” one Weibo user
wrote, responding to a submit on Bill Gates’ official Weibo account
that introduced the divorce in Chinese.
While Bill Gates now not runs Microsoft, the corporate has spent a long time constructing goodwill with Beijing. Its merchandise have a substantial presence in China, whilst different Western tech firms have been locked out.
While Facebook (FB)
is blocked, for instance, Microsoft’s LinkedIn stays one of many few Western social media instruments accessible within the mainland. The Bing search engine can be operational, whereas Google has been lower out for years.
And the success of the enterprise has doubtless contributed to Bill Gates’ private draw: He now has greater than 4.1 million followers on Weibo, outnumbering Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s 1.7 million and Apple chief Tim Cook’s 1.4 million.
Even outstanding tech figures in China joined the dialog on Weibo: Kai-fu Lee — the previous head of Google (GOOGL)
China, who helped set up Microsoft Research Lab Asia, a massively influential community in China — stated it was laborious for him to imagine the information.
The firm’s Beijing-based analysis lab — Microsoft Research Lab Asia — has cultivated many Chinese tech skills, together with Bytedance founder Zhang Yiming, Alibaba (BABA)
tech chief Wang Jian and former Baidu (BIDU)
president Zhang Yaqin.
Bill and Melinda are “the most affectionate couple I’ve seen among celebrity entrepreneurs,” Lee wrote
in a Weibo post
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation arrange its Beijing workplace in 2007 and has since then labored with the Chinese authorities on a number of home tasks within the nation, starting from HIV intervention to poverty discount.
Bill Gates himself has visited China greater than a dozen instances because the Nineteen Nineties
and cultivated pleasant relations with prime leaders. He was welcomed by former Chinese President Jiang Zemin in March 1994, proper earlier than China officially gained access to the Internet
At that point, China was desirous to open up its economic system and meet up with the West in expertise. The journey — throughout which Gates promised Jiang that Microsoft would assist China develop its software program business — helped Microsoft speed up its enlargement within the Chinese market.
In 2006, Gates hosted former Chinese President Hu Jintao for dinner at his house within the Washington state.
And final yr, Chinese President Xi Jinping wrote to Gates to thank him for his help in combating Covid-19.
Gates was even hailed as “the Chinese people’s old friend” by the ruling Chinese Communist Party in 2018, a title that the Party sometimes makes use of for foreigners it acknowledges as having a deep friendship with.
Meanwhile, on social media, some distraught Chinese customers even remarked that the divorce had shaken their beliefs about marriage. The couple had been married for 27 years.
“Even you are divorced,” one
individual wrote, responding to Bill Gates on Weibo. “How can the rest of us have hope of entering a marriage?”