Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group has launched a global B2B sourcing platform to connect international suppliers, including those in Australia, with frontline medical personnel battling coronavirus in China.
Alibaba invested A$212.5 million (RMB one billion) to fund The Alibaba Global Direct Sourcing Platform which was established on 25 January, two days after the affected city of Wuhan was put into quarantine. The platform enables medical workers to purchase vital supplies within and outside China.
The platform aims to bridge the gap for suppliers, wholesalers and small and medium-sized enterprises.
Alibaba will advise of the specifications of required medical supplies, based on information collected from hospitals and local authorities. Australian suppliers can also provide information about other products that they offer.
The supplier will then be verified and the goods are certified as an acceptable match before the procurement process begins. T
Alibaba’s logistics business, Cainiao, also launched a “Green Channel” initiative with industry partners in China and overseas to handle expediting shipping and delivery.
As of February 3, it has successfully delivered medical supplies from Australia and 14 other countries and regions, including self-purchased and donated goods, to 18 hospitals in Hubei, Zhejiang and Anhui provinces.