We are living through one of the biggest global health emergencies since the global flu pandemic in 1918. The outbreak of COVID-19 has virtually shut down cities around the world, disrupting lives and routines, and forcing many people into quarantine. Hospitals are struggling to cope with a growing number of people seeking treatment, leading to a shortage of masks, gloves, and other equipment that’s critical to helping patients and protecting medical professionals.
The outbreak has become a pandemic that calls for global collaboration. In China, Tencent has been an active participant in the societal effort to fight the acute situation by donating funds and medical equipment, and by deploying technology to reduce the disruption to people’s daily lives. On the global front, people in many countries are fighting their own battles. There is an increasing number of front-line healthcare professionals and workers, especially those in heavy-hit cities and townships, working tirelessly and selflessly, and falling ill due to the shortage of protective medical supplies. We want to do something to help.
Today, Tencent announced the establishment of a US$100 million Global Anti-Pandemic Fund to support international efforts to fight COVID-19. This initially will include the sourcing and donation of medical supplies such as protective equipment and ventilators for hospitals and healthcare workers, the true heroes battling on the front lines every day.
As a global company, we want to help where we can. Our decision to set up a fund is also based on our experience battling the virus inside China. In February, we launched a RMB1.5 billion China Anti-Epidemic Fund to provide supplies to healthcare workers and financial relief to patients and their families. We have deployed technology, too, to make it easier for adults to work, and students to study, from home. Many organizations and individuals also pitched in to help in their own ways.
This is a critical moment. Only by building trust, connecting with each other, and strengthening our cooperation can we manage this global emergency.
Let’s work together to help patients recover to good health and bring our lives back to normal.