Tencent Launching Global Anti-Pandemic Fund With $100M Seed Funding

Tencent fund
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Tencent fund
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Photo Credit: Chris Yunker / CC by 2.0

Tencent launches the Global Anti-Pandemic Fund, a $100 million effort to fight coronavirus.

Tencent joins other tech giants like Netflix and Facebook who have launched their own $100 million funds. Tencent’s initial funding will help fund health supply donations during the coronavirus pandemic. That includes personal protective equipment and other products for healthcare professionals.

Tencent previously set up an anti-pandemic fund in China when the coronavirus ravaged Wuhan and Hubei. Tencent says that fund is allocating $211 million to fight COVID-19’s spread inside China.

“COVID-19 is drastically impacting people around the world,” Tencent president Martin Lau said in a statement. “We are facing this challenge together, and Tencent is committed to supporting the international emergency response.”

Tencent says it recognizes the need for more PPE and medical supplies across the world. Traditional supply channels are having trouble keeping up with the demand seen in healthcare. There is a mass shortage of equipment like masks and ventilators, which could impact efforts to fight the virus.

Netflix created a similar $100 million coronavirus relief fund on March 20th. The fund is intended to help members of the creative community who have lost work due to the pandemic. The Recording Academy did something similar for music professionals who have lost work because of canceled gigs.

Over 120,000 crew members have lost jobs since the coronavirus began spreading.

Production of live shows and musicals have stopped. Even the Tony Awards – slated for June – are postponed indefinitely due to the pandemic. Indie musicians are turning to Twitch as a means to support themselves during the shutdown, a rare opportunity for cash-strapped artists.

Twitch is a live streaming platform primed for tipping, which is helping some artists stay afloat. SoundCloud and Twitch are even partnering to fast-track new artists into affiliate status sooner.  It’s not a solution — but at least it’s something.