China’s richest man is donating one million face masks and 500,000 coronavirus test kits to the United States to help the world’s largest economy fight the outbreak, which has killed at least 5,000 people worldwide.
The tycoon’s aid comes as Beijing and Washington spar over the origin of the deadly disease, known as COVID-19.
Jack Ma, worth £31.6billion, announced the decision on Friday through his account on Twitter-like Weibo.
Ma, the founder of e-commerce conglomerate Alibaba, said he managed to gather the supplies today and would immediately send them out ‘as donations to the American people’.
He continued: ‘Based on the counter-epidemic experience we have gained in the past months, quick and accurate test solution and protective equipment for medical workers are the key goods to stop the epidemic from escalating.
‘Hopefully, these supplies can help some people in the United States.
‘This is a big epidemic challenge faced by mankind in an era of globalisation. To this day, it is no longer a challenge any country can overcome by itself, but one that all of us need to face together hand-in-hand.
‘Right now, only when we share resources without judgement and exchange counter-epidemic experience and lessons can we have the chance to defeat this disaster.’
The self-made billionaire, who used to be an English teacher, concluded his post by writing in English: ‘United we stand, divided we fall!’
The 55-year-old magnate has already donated millions of masks and test kits to Japan, South Korea, Iran and Europe to support their containment of the fast-spreading contagion.
Earlier this week, Ma announced he was donating 1.8million face masks and 100,000 coronavirus test kits to Europe.
The supplies were set to be shared between the European nations that have been hit by the disease the hardest, including Italy and Spain, he said.
Last week, Ma mailed 1million masks to Japan and South Korea respectively, according to Jack Ma Charity Foundation. The two neighbouring countries of China are also being ravaged by the contagion.
In January, he donated 100million yuan (£11million, $14.4million) to help scientists develop vaccines for the coronavirus.