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From Jack Ma to Bill Gates, billionaires donate funds to create coronavirus vaccine

BusinessToday.In     January 30, 2020

China's second-richest man and Alibaba founder Jack Ma has donated 100 million yuan ($14.4 million) to help invent a vaccine for coronavirus. According to Jack Ma Foundation, the 55-year-old billionaire has earmarked 40 million yuan ($5.8 million) for two Chinese government research organisations. The remainder of the funds will be used to support "prevention and treatment" measures.  Besides, Alibaba has also given AI computing power access to scientific research organisations searching for a vaccine.

Wuhan, capital of China's Hubei province, is the centre of Coronavirus outbreak. The virus has now spread in many parts of the world. Nationwide death toll from China's novel coronavirus epidemic has jumped to 170, with 38 fatalities reported in the Hubei province.

Smartphone maker Huawei, e-commerce company Tencent Holdings, TikTok owner ByteDance, ride-hailing giant DiDi, search engine Baidu and food-delivery firm Meituan-Dianping are other Chinese firms that have donated funds to coronavirus treatment efforts.

Pony Ma's Tencent has donated 300 million yuan of goods and will provide mapping and data services; Didi Chuxing is ferrying medical workers in designated vehicles across certain cities.

Bill Gates' Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has committed $10 million aid, including $5 million for international cooperation, treatment and vaccine development.

Apple CEO Tim Cook also announced on Twitter that the iPhone maker would also contribute to efforts on the ground.

"As people in China and around the world celebrate the Lunar New Year, we send our love and support to the many impacted by the Coronavirus. Apple will be donating to groups on the ground helping support all of those affected," Cook tweeted.

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