Jack Ma, the self-made billionaire who co-founded the Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, delivered a plane-load of medical equipment and protective gear to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on March 23, to be distributed around the continent to combat the spreading of the COVID-19 pandemic. Arriving from Guangzhou, China, the cargo included 5.4 million face masks, 1.08 million testing kits, 40,000 sets of protective wear, and 60,000 face shields. Ma has delivered similar large shipments to countries around the world.
Why It Matters
The Chinese Communist Party has been criticized for its initial response to the viral outbreak in the city Wuhan in early December. The authorities silenced doctors and went to great effort to downplay information about its severity, which allowed the virus to spread, before they started to take proactive measures to contain it. Jack Ma is a member of the Communist Party, so his generous donation to Africa—where Chinese companies have invested billions in recent years—is helping to improve China and the party’s image abroad.