Alibaba was founded in 1999 as an online B2B marketplace providing a service to enable Chinese companies to sell their goods to other businesses around the world,
Just as Alibaba turned its first annual profit in 2002, they were faced with challenges when the SARS virus first invaded southern China, then the rest of China and the world.
Alibaba’s e-commerce revenue took a hit as the pandemic slowed the supply chains and delivery times for Alibaba’s online business.
Alibaba’s CEO recently noted they are again seeing “more and more consumers getting comfortable with taking care of their daily living needs and work requirements through digital means.
“We are confident in the ongoing digitization of China’s economy and society, and are ready to seize the opportunity to build the foundation for the long-term growth of Alibaba’s digital economy,” the company’s CEO Zhang said.
On March 13 Reuters reported that Chinese billionaire and Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma said he will donate 500,000 coronavirus testing kits and 1 million masks to the United States and urged international cooperation to fight the health crisis.
Ma’s also recently donated relief materials to areas in Japan, Korea, Italy, Iran and Spain.
The SARS epidemic threatened Alibaba’s survival in 2003—Today they are a $470 billion company.