Alibaba is making a sizable donation to the World Health Organization as the coronavirus fight continues.
The Chinese retail giant’s Alibaba Foundation and founder Jack Ma’s namesake foundation announced today that they are giving 100 million face masks, 1 million N95 masks and 1 million test kits to WHO. After receiving the supplies, WHO will distribute them to countries and regions “in urgent need.”
Since February, the Alibaba and Jack Ma Foundations have delivered various types of medical supplies to over 150 countries, scattered across all the continents except for Antartica. Today’s donation is the largest single donation made by the foundations to date but is just one of several they have made to support the COVID-19 fight.
Additionally, the foundations have published and distributed two handbooks on best practices for treating COVID-19 patients, as well as established the Global MediXchange for Combating COVID-19 program to enable medical experts to share their experiences battling the virus. What’s more, the Jack Ma Foundation is funding research and development of COVID-19 treatment options and the development of a vaccine at New York’s Columbia University and Australia’s Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity.
“This crisis presents a huge challenge to all humankind in a globalized world,” Ma wrote in a March statement shared on social media. “The pandemic we face today can no longer be resolved by any individual country. Rather, we need to combat the virus by working hand in hand.”
For the three months prior to Dec. 31, Alibaba posted revenues of $23.2 billion, a 36% gain, besting analysts’ expectations of $22.8 billion. Earnings were up by almost 50% compared with the same period in 2018. The strong sales were driven in part by the success of the e-tailer’s 11.11 Global Shopping Festival, also known as Singles’ Day, where it recorded gross merchandise volume of 213.5 billion yuan (more than $38 billion). However, the e-tailer has signaled a tepid start to 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.