Alipay, the payment platform owned by Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba , has promised to invest 1 billion yuan in women’s football over the next decade. The fund was inspired by the performance of the Chinese women’s national team at the Fifa Women’s World Cup in France, where the “Steel Roses” reached the last 16. It was reported in Chinese media last year that Alibaba founder Jack Ma had come up with a plan to sponsor the women’s team after visiting them at the Asian Games in Indonesia , where they finished runners-up. The unprecedented donation to the Chinese Football Association was announced at the firm’s Hangzhou headquarters on Friday. The money will come from the Alipay Foundation, the firm’s charitable arm, along with the foundations of Jack Ma and Joe Tsai, the Alibaba co-founder. The funds will be managed by the three foundations and the Chinese FA. Investment will focus on four key areas: the women’s national team, technical development and youth development, along with the broad scope of injury prevention, treatment and the careers of retired players. Cai Yong of the Chinese FA expressed their gratitude at the fund and promised to raise the salaries of women players and improve the standard of training facilities. Alipay already had a two-year agreement to support girls’ football in Hainan, something that Eric Jing of Ant Financial, the operator of Alipay, said has “opened doors for them to more life options and opportunities”. “This has strengthened our determination to expand our support and enable more development and innovation in women’s and girls’ football in China,” he added. Alipay signed a global partnership with Uefa last year, which will include sponsorship of both Euro 2020 and Euro 2024. They also sponsored the recent Uefa Nations League final in Portugal, presenting Cristiano Ronaldo with the Alipay Top Scorer Trophy. Alibaba is also the minority owner of Guangzhou Evergrande in the Chinese Super League. Alibaba is the owner of the South China Morning Post.