Alibaba, JD.com and Pinduoduo are struggling to meet demand for medical supplies in China amid a scramble to prevent the spread of the deadly coronavirus.
China’s biggest retailers are facing stock shortages of medical supplies like face masks and hand sanitiser forcing suppliers to work “overtime at full speed to increase production”.
Between January 20 and 21 Alibaba’s Taobao is understood to have sold 80 million face masks, while JD.com has run out hand sanitiser and Pinduoduo has sold out of scrubs, gloves and goggles.
Taobao took to social media to inform customers they are “urgently restocking” supplies across the nation.
It also announced on Sunday that it had banned sales of face masks from sellers who have inflated their prices due to skyrocketing demand and stock scarcity.
JD.com said in a statement it would donate 1 million masks and other medical supplies to Wuhan.
The supply shortage has been further exacerbated by the Chinese new year holiday, extended today, leaving many factories shut and the country’s effective logistics network all but shut down.
Today the official death toll of the coronavirus, which is thought to have originated in the city of Wuhan, rose to 81 while the number of confirmed cases in China rose 30 per cent to 2744.