TikTok announces over $250m in aid amid coronavirus crisis

April 10, 2020

TikTok will provide '$50 million in grants to educators to help spread educational information in distance learning format,' President Alex Zhu said

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AFP/Lionel Bonaventure/Files

SAN FRANCISCO: Viral video-sharing app TikTok has announced over $250 million in aid to various sectors amid the ongoing coronavirus crisis around the world, it said in a statement issued Thursday.

The Chinese short-form mobile video platform said the funds were aimed at assisting frontline medical workers, educators, and local communities affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has infected more than 1.6 million people globally and killed over 97,000, as of reporting time.

Explaining the categorisation of the financial aid, TikTok President Alex Zhu said $150 million would be given under Health Heroes Relief Fund to support medical staffing, supplies, and hardship relief for healthcare workers.

"We will be providing $50 million in grants to educators to help spread educational information in distance learning format," Zhu added.

Owned by Chinese Internet giant ByteDance, TikTok said it was also working with global and local partners to distribute masks and other personal protective equipment to hospitals across hard-hit countries such as India, Indonesia, Italy, South Korea, and the United States.

"We're partnering with the CDC Foundation to donate $15 million toward supporting surge staffing for local response efforts ... We're also looking to assist global health workers, including our $10-million contribution to the WHO [World Health Organization] COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund," Zhu said.

The viral video-sharing app would offer a community relief fund worth millions of dollars to support school lunch programs across the US, as well as to help artists whose livelihoods were severely impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

Additionally, the company announced to pledge $125 million in advertising credits to help organisations and businesses recover.

"Together, we will persevere through this time of crisis and emerge a better community and part of a world that we fervently hope will be more united in common purpose than it was before," Zhu said.

Additional input from Xinhua

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