Alibaba CEO Jack Ma has just sent essential important supplies to Europe. These supplies will aid Europe in the fight against the Coronavirus.
Europe has become Ma’s latest target for aid. Recently, he had just donated more than USD$2 million to Australia to speed up the development of a Coronavirus vaccine. He also sent a million face masks to the Japanese people.
For Europe though, his aid includes so much more. Apart from face masks as well, Ma has also sent food rations and testing kits for the virus. The food shipment and 1.8 million masks have already arrived at liege airport. The 100,000 testing kits will be arriving soon.
All of these supplies are being sent via Belgium. Belgium was chosen because it was the first country in China’s Electronic World Trade Platform initiative.
Europe has had its share of problems with Coronavirus. This past week, a Belgian nonagenarian patient succumbed to the virus. Italy on the other hand has been on total lockdown. Their total death count is now more than 600.
In a post, Ma said that his decision to help out Europe was due to the difficulty of bringing in materials. He said that transporting things to battle the epidemic is quite impossible. He was happy to see that Liege airport was operating and available to take in materials.
Earlier in the year, Belgium had also sent facemasks to China. They did so by utilizing the Cainiao Network of Alibaba.
Ma’s helpful nature does not stop with Europe though. Earlier this month, he signed an agreement with Australia’s Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity. The research of this institute will contribute to solving the on-going pandemic.
This institute’s current contributions are quite notable. This Australia institute has grown the Coronavirus in a laboratory outside of China. This effort will allow us to better understand the disease and address it.
Ma has funnelled money into the Chinese government research. Almost USD$15 million has been given to Chinese government research institutes. It is Ma’s hope that this money will also spur the development of a vaccine.
Every plan seems ideal in its infancy. There are always lots of hopes and dreams attached to plans. That is why it is always worthwhile to look at the other side of the coin; the other stories and projections. The Chairman of Hong Kong’s tour Guides General Union – Wong Ka-ngai – was not as enthused about hearing this news. The government stated that this initiative would help many people across the travel sector. However, this is not the case.
Wong stated that this subsidy will not do much for the local tours and local tour guides. He cites the warnings the other countries have gotten from travelling here. By his logic, if no one visits the country, then the subsidies would be meaningless. It seems to Wong that the biggest problem is having customers. With customers, certain services can start working again. Without them, the whole machine stops.
The plan for subsidies had good intentions at heart. However, it may not be the best thing for the country right now. Contrary to what the government said, the biggest flaw with the plan is that it only seemed to help out tourist agencies. This way, it would only improve cross-border tours. Another solution that Wong hoped for was having low-to-no interest cash loans.