Alibaba founder Jack Ma has donated COVID-19 test kits, face masks and protective gear sets to Malaysia, and other Southeast Asian nations brace for a domestic surge in coronavirus infections.
The Jack Ma Foundation and Alibaba Foundation announced a joint donation of 2 million masks, 150,000 test kits, 20,000 sets of protective gear and 20,000 face shields to the four countries.
“More help to other Asian nations is on the way,” the Jack Ma Foundation said in its tweet.
Medical supplies donated by the Jack Ma Foundation and Alibaba Foundation will help in the fight against the spread of the coronavirus in four Southeast Asian countries, with more to follow.
The donations came as coronavirus cases rapidly increased in Southeast Asia.
Countries in Southeast Asia have faced challenges of insufficient and inaccessible test kits in their battle to contain the spread of the virus.
The two foundations last week donated 500,000 test kits and 1 million masks to the United States, following donations of surgical masks to Japan and South Korea. Test kits and masks were sent to Italy, Belgium and Spain earlier this month. The foundations have also committed to support all African nations in their fight against the coronavirus.
Other Chinese tech companies including smartphone maker Oppo and its competitor Xiaomi have also donated masks and other equipment to countries affected by the outbreak.
Alibaba opened a Malaysia office in June 2018 and houses a major logistics hub close to Kuala Lumpur International Airport. Ma met Mahathir Mohamad, Malaysia’s prime minister at the time, when he visited the Alibaba Group’s headquarters in Hangzhou in August that year.
On Friday, Malaysia was set to receive 100,000 face masks from the China-Asia Economic Development Association, and will receive 3,500 more test kits next week. This came after the Chinese embassy in Malaysia sent 5,000 masks and 10,000 face shields to Sungai Buloh hospital, where many patients who have tested positive for the COVID-19 disease caused by the virus are being treated.
Malaysia and China enjoy close bilateral relations, and Malaysia donated face masks and other medical supplies to China when the coronavirus outbreak started.