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Brief Published: 26 Feb 2020

Alibaba Helps SMEs in China Survive Coronavirus Impact


Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group has announced initiatives to assist small and medium enterprises (SMEs) struggling with lost business owing to the coronavirus outbreak.

 On Monday February 20, the company unveiled 20 measures leveraging its widespread ecosystem and providing support across six areas, as follows:

  • No More Platform Fees: The company won’t charge fees on its platforms – for example, business-to-consumer marketplace Tmall will waive all service fees for the first half of 2020. 
  • Low Interest & Interest-Free Lending: Financial services provider Ant Financial’s online bank brand MYbank has promised interest-free and low-interest loans to mobile commerce platform Taobao and Tmall merchants registered in Hubei – the epicentre of the Covid-19 outbreak. 
  • Subsidised Delivery: Taobao, Tmall and logistics network Cainiao together launched a 1bn yuan ($142m) fund for supply chains and logistics services. Couriers will be paid extra for work done, while companies will benefit from waived fees and subsidies.   
  • Temporary Work Aid: Alibaba’s new retail supermarket Freshippo’s employee-sharing scheme lets those working in hospitality, dining, movie theatres and department stores have temporary jobs at Freshippo locations.
  • Free Digital Tools: Businesses can access digital tools from members of Alibaba’s ecosystem at no cost, to boost sales – for example, Taobao livestream services for offline merchants.
  • Remote Work Assistance: Businesses not set up for remote-working conditions will be able to use communication and collaboration platform Dingtalk’s “Work from Home” function for free.