Amazon bans travel to China as Alibaba founder pledges £11m to fight deadly outbreak
Amazon is “restricting business travel to and from China” for its employees as the World Health Organisation (WHO) considers branding the deadly virus a global health emergency.
As the deadly coronavirus spreads to every region in mainland China bringing the death toll to nearly 200, Amazon has banned all non-essential travel to China “out of an abundance of caution”, according to CNBC.
This follows similar moves from major tech companies including Microsoft, Facebook, Google and Apple.
Any Amazon employees who’s travel to China is essential will first require permission from the company, and anyone flying back from the region will need to work from home for the following two weeks.
Meanwhile Alibaba’s founder and China’s richest man Jack Ma has pledged 100 million yuan (£11.1 million) through his charitable foundation to help fight the coronavirus outbreak.
Alibaba Group is also offering to establish a 1 billion yuan (£111 million) fund to share its artificial intelligence expertise with researchers.
“We know that the battle between humanity and disease is a long journey,” the foundation posted on Weibo, China’s answer to Twitter.
“This money will help various medical research efforts and help disease prevention.”
Yesterday the Chinese health authorities reported 7711 confirmed cases, while infections have been reported in 15 other countries.
The outbreak has brought China to a standstill, affecting the world’s second largest economy while major companies like Ikea, Tesla and Starbucks close their operations in the country.