Jack Ma is the co-founder of Alibaba and worth billions. After China flattened the curve for the COVID-19 pandemic, he donated 1 million face masks and 500,000 virus testing kits to the United States.
He said that accurate testing with speed while providing adequate safety equipment was fundamental in the effort to contain the disease. The offer came only a few hours after the Trump Administration declared a national emergency to gain access to $50 billion in funding.
Ma made other donations during the COVID-19 emergency to help other countries. He sent one million masks to Iran and Japan while providing 1.8 million of them to Europe while sending 100,000 testing kits.
United We Stand, Divided We Fall
Although critics of Ma and the Chinese government pointed out that his donations could be seen as a show of power, donations went to the hardest-hit places in the world as China recovered.
China is the largest supplier of face masks in the world today. When COVID-19 could not be downplayed in the Wuhan region any longer, the government cut exports while purchasing most of the world’s supply.
Then many of the products went out to other governments for free.
Some of the criticism regarding this donation came about because of the government’s declaration that “gratitude education” was necessary for Hubei province.
Ma took a different approach. He invoked a famous phrase that Americans use that came from Benjamin Franklin. “United we stand,” he tweeted. “Divided, we fall.”