Alibaba donates 500K face masks to Belgian government
Chinese tech giant Alibaba and its founder Jack Ma are donating half a million face masks to the Belgian government, according to the country's health minister.
The masks are being offered through two foundations founded by Alibaba and its founder, the minister's office said. A first batch of 300,000 masks would arrive in Liège — Alibaba's distribution hub for Europe — today. The donation would also include 30,000 test kits.
Health Minister Maggie De Block said in a statement the masks would be distributed among health workers "on the frontline of the fight against the novel coronavirus." The donation was facilitated by the Belgian King, she added.
Alibaba last week sent 500,000 face masks to Liège and has pledged to donate two million masks to European health institutions in total. Belgium, like other European governments, has struggled to procure and produce sufficient face masks to cope with the spread of the coronavirus.
The Chinese e-commerce giant's Liège plant has previously faced protests from local communities in Belgium for its expansion plans.