Weibo users worried about everything from how the couple would share their huge fortune to whether the divorce would affect Microsoft or their charity. Through its philanthropic organization, the couple has spent $ 53.8 billion on global health, poverty reduction and other initiatives. According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Bill Gates is worth about $ 146 billion, and the couple has pledged to donate most of their wealth to charity.
“You and Melinda have contributed tremendously to people around the world. Even if you don’t hold hands together in the future, I hope your foundation will continue to help and help more people,”
; a Weibo user wrote in response to a post. of Bill Gates’ official Weibo account, which announced the divorce in Chinese.
While Bill Gates no longer runs Microsoft, the company has spent decades building goodwill with Beijing. Its products have a significant presence in China, although other Western technology companies are blocked.
While Facebook (FB) is blocked, for example Microsoft’s LinkedIn remains one of the few Western social media tools available on the continent. Search engine Bing also works while Google has been shut down for years.
And the success of the business has probably contributed to Bill Gates’ personal equality: he now has more than 4.1 million followers on Weibo, outnumbering 1.7 million Tesla CEO Elon Musk and 1.4 million Apple Tim Cook.
Even well-known technical figures in China have joined Weibo’s conversation: Kai-fu Li, the former boss of Google (GOOGL) China, which helped create Microsoft Research Lab Asia, a highly influential network in China, said it was hard to believe the news.
The company’s Beijing-based research laboratory – Microsoft Research Lab Asia – cultivates many Chinese technological talents, including Bytedance founder Zhang Yiming, Ali Baba (GRANDMA) technical chief Wang Jian and former Baidu (START) President Jan Yakin.
Bill and Melinda are “the most affectionate couple I’ve ever seen among famous entrepreneurs,” Lee wrote. in a post on Weibo.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation established its Beijing office in 2007 and has since worked with the Chinese government on several domestic projects in the country, ranging from HIV intervention to poverty reduction.
Bill Gates himself has visited China more than a dozen times since the 1990s and cultivates friendly relations with senior leaders. He was welcomed by former Chinese President Jiang Zemin in March 1994, just before China officially gained access to the Internet.
At the time, China was eager to open up its economy and catch up with the West in technology. The trip – during which Gates promised Jiang that Microsoft would help China grow its software industry – helped Microsoft accelerate its expansion into the Chinese market.
In 2006, Gates hosted former Chinese President Hu Jintao at a dinner at his home in Washington state.
And last year, Chinese President Xi Jinping wrote to Gates to thank him for his support in the fight against Covid-19.
Gates was even hailed as an “old friend of the Chinese people” by the ruling Chinese Communist Party in 2018, a title the party sometimes uses for foreigners with whom it acknowledges deep friendships.
Meanwhile, on social media, some deranged Chinese consumers have even noted that divorce shakes their beliefs about marriage. The couple has been married for 27 years.
“Even you are divorced,” one man wrote in response to Bill Gates on Weibo. “How can the rest of us hope to get married?”