(Yicai Global) March 12 -- Alibaba Group Holding's founder Jack Ma is donating food, face masks, and Covid-19 testing kits to Europe via Belgium, the first European member of the Chinese e-commerce giant's Electronic World Trade Platform initiative, after the Western European country reported its first Covid-19-related death.
A food shipment has arrived at Liege Airport and 1.8 million face masks and 100,000 testing kits will follow soon, Jack Ma wrote on his Weibo. The goods are destined for those countries that have been severely hit by the Covid-19 outbreak such as Italy and Spain.
A 90-year-old coronavirus patent has died, the Belgian health minister said yesterday. The person had been treated in Brussels. The country had 267 cases by then. Meanwhile, Italy's death toll rose to 631.
"Anti-epidemic materials' cross-border transport has been difficult, but fortunately we have learned that the eWTP at Liege Airport is running well and can deliver epidemic prevention materials," Ma added in his post.
In late 2018, Belgium became the first European nation to participate in the eWTP program to boost cross-border trade. The planned eWTP hub, Liege Airport, has also sent face masks to China earlier by using Alibaba's Cainiao Network delivery services.
Liege, which is located close to Brussels, has become a key node for Chinese e-commerce merchants who sell in Europe. In the next two months, cargo volumes are expected to double in Liege, Kang Pengnian, an overseas chief operating officer of the Wallonia Export-Investment Agency told a Belgian news outlet.
Editor: Emmi Laine