Coronavirus: Tencent pledges another $143m in response to the outbreak
While it is still too early to ascertain the economic impact of the virus on the data centre sector, given the speed at which the infection has spread, the impact may present itself in the first quarter.
As China’s death toll passes 1,300 following the ongoing outbreak of the Coronavirus, Chinese tech company Tencent has rallied funds to aid in the fight against the mass spread.
Tencent announced the establishment of the “Comprehensive Security Fund for the Battle against Novel Coronavirus Pneumonia”, following the launch of the $42.9m (RMB300m) Outbreak Response Fund and the $28.6m (RMB200m) Developer Support Alliance Fund.
The Chinese internet-based platform company set up the Anti-Epidemic Fund by committing another $143m (RMB1bn) to support the battle against the Coronavirus.
The Fund, which totals $214.7m (RMB1.5bn), will be deployed in areas such as procurement of medical supplies, provision of technical support, reward for the people who contribute to the battle, assistance for the infected and their families, R&D of anti-NCP solutions, and improvement of medical facilities, according to the company.
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). A novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans.
The majority of cases have been in Wuhan, China, where it originated, though more are being identified across a dozen other countries.
Tencent has, as of February 7, procured 3.35 million masks, 125,100 protective suits, and large quantities of protective gloves/glasses, disinfectant, ventilators, ear thermometers, 75% ethanol, test kits and other necessary supplies to deliver to the front line.
Time is precious, but news has no time. Sign up today to receive daily free updates in your email box from the Data Economy Newsroom.
The epidemic has put many families in financial hardship as a result of the huge expenditure on treatment and the death of the main breadwinners.
“With NCP plaguing China and other countries across the globe, numerous front-line contributors commit themselves to the battle to help and save those who are suffering from the disease and protect more people from infection,” said Leon Guo, Senior Vice President of Tencent and Chairman of the Tencent Charity Foundation.
“The extraordinary effort made by the seemingly ordinary people are empowering us to do our part in the battle, giving us the confidence to win the battle.”
While Tencent is taking a hands-on approach, Data Economy reached out to data centre companies including Chayora and STT GDC for comment regarding any special work arrangement they have put in place, to which Chayora did not respond and STT GDC said the company will not be commenting on specific measures at this time.
Earlier today, the world’s largest mobile phone showcase, Mobile World Congress (MWC), announced it has had to cancelled over coronavirus concerns, just over a week before the 100,000 attendees were due to flock to Barcelona.
The GSM Association (GSMA) said it had become “impossible” for the event to go ahead as planned in Barcelona.
The number of confirmed cases around the world has risen to more than 60,000 since the flu-like virus emerged in December. As it stands, there have been nine confirmed cases in the UK.
Dan Johnson, Director of Global Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery at Ensono, said: “We do have plans in place to respond in the unlikely event that the situation escalates in Europe or the US. “Relevant communications have already gone out to all teams, stressing best practice to follow. We have also updated our company’s Pandemic Plan.
“Resiliency is vital in rapidly evolving incidents like a global disease outbreak. Our data centre teams have recently trained for similar scenarios, ingraining processes to follow if members of the team have to stay at home.
“Ultimately, all businesses need to stay vigilant and the outbreak needs to be closely monitored as things continue to evolve. However, as things currently stand, the data centre and cloud industries based in the West are yet to experience any real operational impact from this.”
Read the latest from the Data Economy Newsroom: