VIA Joins Qifang in Supporting Innovative Microfinance Schemes for Students in Western China

December 25, 2008 | 21:15

Companies: #via

Collaboration will aid students in remote areas in the Ningxia Autonomous Region to receive the full benefits of a university education

Beijing, China, 22 December 2008 - VIA Technologies, Inc., a leading innovator of power efficient x86 processor platforms, today announced it has signed a strategic cooperation agreement with Qifang to help address the educational needs of poor students in western China utilizing Qifang’s online community education platform at

As the first step in this program, VIA is funding the establishment of a computer lab at Ningxia Teachers University at Guyuan City in the southern mountain area of Ningxia, and enabling company staff to participate in the program by making loans to aid students requiring financial support through the Qifang online platform to complete their education.

There are approximately 6,000 students attending the university, with a majority from poor rural areas in Western China. Higher education is a critical turning point for these students in their self-development and the alleviation of poverty for their communities. However, tuition is a very heavy burden for their families and students aspire to financial independence or struggle to find financial support to complete their four years of university.

Qifang, which means “blossom together” in Chinese and describes prospering through education, was founded to provide a means for students in China to finance their tuition through an online community that pairs students with lenders and donors.

“This cooperation provides us with an exciting new way of expanding the global efforts we have been making through the VIA pc-1 Initiative to extend the benefits of education and computing access to people living in remote areas,” said Richard Brown, VP Marketing, VIA Technologies, Inc. “With its advanced community features, the Qifang online platform will enable our staff to actively engage in the lives of the students and help them through this critical time in their lives.”

“Qifang is an open platform and online community with the mission of giving everyone a way to pay for their education,” said Calvin Chin, CEO of Qifang. We’re delighted about collaborating with VIA. On the one hand, we can help VIA and its employees participate in giving back to society in efficient and transparent ways; on the other hand, we can help the high potential students in Ningxia Teachers University meet their financial needs. We hope this VIA program can serve as a model for other companies and individuals to join Qifang, so we can bring together those in need with those who want to help.”

“We’re very grateful for the help from Qifang, VIA and its staff,” commented Mr Wang, the Director General of Students' Affairs Division from Ningxia Teachers University, who is in charge of coordinating the program at the university. “This program will not only help students to finance the completion of their education, but will also give the student population much easier access to education and information resources on the Internet through the VIA Computer Lab.”

About the VIA pc-1 Initiative

The VIA pc-1 Initiative is aimed at enabling the next one billion people to get connected. With a focus on communication, education and information, the VIA pc-1 Initiative seeks to empower millions of people to improve their quality of life through technology, especially in emerging markets. Comprising a range of flexible systems based on VIA’s acclaimed energy-efficient processor platforms, the VIA pc-1 Initiative is a realistic approach to bringing technology to millions more people within a sustainable business framework. Of the numerous initiatives VIA has launched to enhance the technology experience and the quality of life, the VIA pc-1 Initiative has a universal remit to make a difference to the lives of many more millions of people.

Further information on the VIA pc-1 Initiative may be found on the VIA website at:

About Qifang

Qifang is an open platform and online community with the singular purpose of giving everyone a way to pay for their education. Leveraging the latest in web and community technologies, Qifang efficiently brokers data and relationships through a transparent platform built on trust to connect and assist everyone involved in education finance. Qifang is committed to maximize social benefits through a sustainable business model. Qifang focuses on helping poor students to solve the problems of higher education expenses. Qifang also supports their financial education, learning how to be good borrowers and guiding them to take advantage of other services in their personal and career development. Qifang has been named a World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer of 2009 - the first Chinese company to ever receive this prestigious honor.

For detailed information, please visit:

About VIA Technologies, Inc.

VIA Technologies, Inc is the foremost fabless supplier of power efficient x86 processor platforms that are driving system innovation in the PC, client, ultra mobile and embedded markets. Combining energy-saving processors with digital media chipsets and advanced connectivity, multimedia and networking silicon enables a broad spectrum of computing and communication platforms, including its widely acclaimed ultra compact mainboards. Headquartered in Taipei, Taiwan, VIA’s global network links the high tech centers of the US, Europe and Asia, and its customer base includes the world’s top OEMs and system integrators.
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