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How Alibaba Is Utilizing Technology to Aid China During the COVID-19 Pandemic

During this state of national emergency the ways in which we conduct our lives has altered drastically. Most of us are being ordered to work remotely if possible, practice social distancing and self-quarantine and, with no clear end in sight, many are struggling with one concern in particular: How will we get food supplies? Medical services? Toiletries? How will we get the supplies we need to survive without leaving our homes? 

In China—a country that has seen devastating numbers arise from this pandemic—significant measures taken by China’s multinational tech company, Alibaba, have helped put these widespread concerns to rest. Utilizing technology to aid it’s citizens, Alibaba has had a substantial impact during this international crisis.

With cities on lockdown, Alibaba recognizes its need to supply necessities to vulnerable citizens.

In Wuhan, China, a lockdown was ordered by the government back in January. Imposing these concerns on its 11 million residents ensued panic as people had no idea of how they’d obtain meals or any kind of essentials in the days to come. But this concern soon came to an end as Alibaba stepped in and implemented it’s advanced technological resources to ensure citizens were receiving what they needed during a time of crisis. 

In China, online shopping is nothing new. For years, well-established Chinese-based companies like Alibaba,, MTDP, and others have been utilizing technology to reconstruct the way Chinese consumers conduct their business; easing consumers away from offline to online shopping mainly through a “one-stop-shop” super app, where consumers can find nearly everything they need in one place. In the midst of a crisis, Wuhan turned to Alibaba and it’s busy, multifaceted interface they’ve become vastly familiar with. 

Alibaba steps up.

In China’s major cities, Alibaba made it possible to have groceries, toiletries, and any other essentials to be delivered to homes within 20 minutes of a placed order. Implementing the use of digital technology and AI tech, Alibaba was able to respond to Wuhan’s lockdown immediately. Integrated with numerous merchants, Alibaba’s Cainiao network supports their merchants’ supply chains; using an AI-based digital inventory, this allows them access to link offline shopping to online shopping; tracking local stores’ inventory so that they’re able to source customer demands with urgency.

Via Flickr: Governor Tom Wolf

Alibaba’s efforts have even reached as far as the U.S. With our severe shortage in test kits, and no way to regulate or track the spread of COVID-19, the number of those infected continues to rapidly grow right under our noses. In response to this, Alibaba’s co-founder, Jack Ma, donated a shipment of 500,000 COVID-19 test kits and 1 million face masks to help us fight this outbreak. In a statement posted on Twitter, he writes, “Drawing from my own country’s experience, speedy and accurate testing and adequate personal protective equipment for medical professionals are most effective in preventing the spread of the virus,” Ma wrote. “United we stand, divided we fall!”