Palo Alto, California – Mark Zuckerberg announced on his Facebook page that he will donate 99% of his Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) stock to charity over the course of his life.

The news was delivered by Zuckerberg and his wife Priscila Chan in the form of a letter to their newborn daughter, Max.

The enormous amount of money won’t be given away all at the same time, but in the course of his lifetime. Photo: NBC News.

Facebook CEO Zuckerberg is currently the 7th richest person in the world, according to Forbes’ Real Time Billionaires ranking, with a net worth estimated at $46.8 billion. 99% of his Facebook Stocks translate to $45 billion, which is definitely one of the biggest donations in history.

Zuckerberg explained on the letter to his daughter the donations will go to the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, a recently-formed entity which focuses initially on areas like personalized learning, finding the cure for diseases, connecting people, and building strong communities.

In the long, detailed letter to their new-born daughter, the Facebook’s CEO explains that the goals determining Zuckerberg and Chan’s giving philosophy aim to join people across the world to advance human potential, and promote equality for all children in the next generation.

The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative will be funded from a series of annual payments by selling FB stock. The sale of stock is currently limited to $1 billion per year; this is because Zuckerberg plans to retain his majority voting right for the future. Any profit from the initiative investment will be used in further progress in the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative’s goals.

Mixed feelings around the world about Zuckerberg initiative

As the world is being moved by Facebook founder initiative, some Chinese Internet users are asking: is it a kind-hearted gift or a tax dodge? In recent years, Chinese citizens have struggled to trust charitable organizations and millionaires’ philanthropy.

“He is probably doing what every American millionaire would do, using a charity fund or trust as a means of tax avoidance”, “It might only be a business move rather than a charitable one.” were some of the post users wrote under the widely-circulated Weibo.

On the other hand, Zuckerberg’s example is being used for more political matters. Supporters of parental leave for both mother and father say they hope Zuckerberg’s example would help the case. He has just started a two-month paternity leave after the birth of his daughter, and its expected to change the current attitude about the topic. Currently paternity leave is mostly used only by mothers and not fathers, except for California, New Jersey and Rhode Island that offer paid paternal leave for both parents.

Source: The LA Times