With COVID-19 already infected millions of people, many companies have stressed the need to come up with a clear plan that can help the most affected and guarantee supply chain integrity to ensure businesses have enough measures for bringing workers back.
During this time, many firms have looked to identify ways that they can give back to affected communities. Which was made more difficult as the needs, and process for donating, are outside the traditional channels and approaches.
However, over the last few weeks, we have found several examples that we thought served as best cases for companies operating in China. These examples could serve as inspiration for others, whose countries are now challenged with the same crisis:
Baidu and Qihoo 360 – Baidu and Qihoo 360, two of China’s leading technology firms, have developed tech services to track and contain the new coronavirus. Baidu developed a map that shows the real-time location of confirmed and suspected patients, nearest hospital locations, epidemic control checkpoints, and traffic arrangements. Qihoo 360 on the other hand, launched an app that allows users to check if they recently traveled by plane or train with someone who might have contracted the virus.
Didi – Throughout the crisis, Didi has provided transportation services to support hospital staff in need of rides in Wuhan, and the movements of medical supplies, which were extremely critical for the city under lockdown. Meanwhile, Didi also provided free access to their cloud infrastructure for others to conduct research and relief projects.
BYD and GAC Motor Co. – Automakers BYD and GAC committed to producing 5 million masks and 50 thousand bottles of disinfectant per day until the end of the pandemic. Quickly becoming China’s largest producer of face masks and disinfectant, the first batch of supply was donated to drivers of public transportation (taxis, public buses, ride-hailing fleets) and volunteers fighting the outbreak.
Microsoft – Seeing the stress that front line medical staff were under, Microsoft supported 300 volunteer counselors, operating a 24-hour support hotline, to help front-line medical staff cope with psychological distress and mitigate traumatic stress though SharePoint, OneDrive, and Skype platforms.
Alibaba – Through both the Jack Ma Foundation and Alibaba Foundation, Alibaba focused its efforts on procuring and distributing critical medical suppliers. First to affected areas in China, but as the crisis in Wuhan abated, they were one of the first Chinese firms to offer support globally. To date, they have supported the shipment of medical equipment and PPE to countries in Asia, Europe, North America, and South America, including a donation of 1,000 ventilators to New York City.
As the world struggles to contain the virus, and governments develop policies to alleviate the growing costs, corporations and business leaders have been critical stakeholder in the fight.
Both as employers, who are working to stabilize their business models and employment levels, but beyond that, as members of the community.
To this end, we hope that these cases will help inspire others to look at ways to support their communities outside the traditional means. Looking beyond volunteering and philanthropic, to leverage the people, products, and processes of their firms to identify a challenge their community is facing now, and fix it.
Throughout this crisis, corporate leaders will need to act quickly, and we will do our part to help by tracking the best cases and highlighting them.