Jack Ma pledges $14.5 million to help fight coronavirus
Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma has become the latest technology industry figure offering to help fight the coronavirus outbreak.
China’s richest man will donate 100 million yuan ($14.5 million) through his charitable foundation, joining Bill and Melinda Gates in pledging assistance. That’s on top of an offer by his Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. to establish a 1 billion yuan fund and share its artificial intelligence expertise with researchers.
“We know that the battle between humanity and disease is a long journey,” the foundation said in a post on its Twitter-like Weibo account. “This money will help various medical research efforts and help disease prevention.”
China’s tech industry has responded rapidly to an outbreak that’s infected thousands and killed more than 150 around the globe. Pony Ma’s Tencent Holdings Ltd. donated 300 million yuan of goods and will provide mapping and data services; ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing is ferrying medical workers in designated vehicles across certain cities; Robin Li’s Baidu Inc. and TikTok owner ByteDance Inc. are contributing financial aid.
While Ma and his industry have been accused of foisting extreme overtime on its employees, many companies like Tencent have extended the Lunar New Year holidays by a week or more in the wake of the outbreak.