Founder and chief executive Jack Ma has further demonstrated Alibaba’s commitment to LGBT rights by running a contest in which same-sex couples from China could win a destination wedding in the USA, reports WSJ.

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd Enables 10 Chinese Same-Sex Couples To Marry

Alibaba makes marriage possible for 10 couples

Although same-sex weddings are not illegal in China, they are completely unrecognized by the state. By flying the couples to California, Alibaba allows them to fulfill their dreams. The company is one of various organisations that put on a competition to win all-expenses paid wedding trips, and honeymoons.

As well as Alibaba, the contest is sponsored by Chinese gay dating app Blued and three LGBT nonprofit groups. Same-sex couples were invited to send in a video telling the story of how they fell in love and what the possibility of marriage would mean to them. The response to the contest was strong, with 400 couples submitting a video, and 75,000 Chinese citizens voting for those who would finally be married in the U.S.

The ten weddings will be witnessed by West Hollywood Mayor John D’Amico. Melanie Lee, a spokesperson for Alibaba, stated that the contest “hopes to evoke respect and understanding of homosexuality and support the realization of dreams … It’s more of a symbolic kind of gesture.”

Companies show support for LGBT rights in China

Given the fact that same-sex marriage is not illegal in China, Alibaba’s support for the couples will not land it in any legal trouble. However same-sex marriage is contrary to Chinese tradition, something which Alibaba is attempting to change. The company has previously run adverts featuring same-sex couples, and the competition underlines its support for LGBT rights.

Activists have started to propose that Chinese law be changed in order to recognize same-sex unions, but commentators believe that the situation will not change for quite some time. Although the Californian weddings will not be recognized in China, the opportunity to have their relationship made official is of great significance to the lucky winners.