Alibaba Group donated RMB150 million (US$23.2 million) on Wednesday to support disaster relief operations in the central China province of Henan after widespread flooding.
As part of the group-wide aid effort, the Alibaba Foundation will donate an additional RMB100 million, and the Jack Ma Foundation will give RMB50 million to support the Henan Provincial Government’s emergency measures and post-disaster recovery work.
Alibaba’s financial affiliate, Ant Group, also pledged RMB100 million, while its e-wallet Alipay dedicated a section on its donation platform, Alipay Love, to rally support for related charity initiatives.
Heavy rain on Tuesday flooded Zhengzhou, the capital of Henan Province, which sprawls along the banks of the Yellow River. Other cities in the province are also grappling with rising water levels in rivers and reservoirs, as well as disruption to public transport.
The floods have caused 12 deaths and displaced 100,000 people as of Wednesday, , China’s official news agency Xinhua said. The downpour was the heaviest ever recorded, the agency added. The Shaolin Monastery, the main temple of the Shaolin school of Buddhism, was flooded.
Alibaba’s philanthropy platform linked with the China Foundation for Poverty Alleviation, One Foundation and other public welfare organizations in China to launch fundraising activities.
Alibaba’s digital mapping service Amap published materials to help local users avoid floods. Amap also launched a feature that allows people to reach out to other users for help when they spot someone in need of rescue.
The Alibaba ecosystem mobilized other parts of the platform to provide assistance on Wednesday. Cainiao Network deployed transportation and distribution forces in Zhengzhou and surrounding areas, responding 24 hours a day, and fully supporting emergency rescue and the distribution of residents’ living materials.
Alibaba’s grocery store chain, Freshippo (known as “Hema” in Chinese), distributed the first batch of 450,000 daily staples such as vegetables, grains and oils from its Henan warehouse to residents in Zhengzhou’s 7,000 communities, for free.
Alibaba Health is working with healthcare providers to supply medicine and medical equipment.
Alibaba’s China marketplace for wholesale traders, 1688.com, and Alibaba’s Taobao Deals, an app specifically for direct-from-factory goods, jointly launched a dedicated section for disaster supplies and mobilized about 9,500 of their partnering factories to support the effort, including woven-bag manufacturers in Shandong and canoe makers in Qingdou.
Alibaba Health’s Dr. Deer app will partner with 3,000 licensed doctors to offer free medical consultation services for Henan residents.
Two RT-Marts, Alibaba-backed hypermarkets, in Zhengzhou are offering shelter for victims and disaster-relief workers, as well as supplies such as free water, hot drinks, phone charging areas, and menstrual health products to women in need. It is also working with local authorities to supply milk, instant noodles, bread and other food.
Alibaba plans to launch more disaster relief measures, including making additional donations.
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