TikTok's $250 million pledge to coronavirus relief will support healthcare workers, education, and communities around the world
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- TikTok, the popular video-sharing app, is pledging $250 million to organizations providing coronavirus relief, the company's president Alex Zhu announced Thursday.
- The $250 million includes a $150 million commitment to healthcare and medical workers, as well as $40 million to local groups "representative of TikTok's diverse user communities."
- Since the coronavirus outbreak started to grow, TikTok has seen increases in downloads and user spending, as people spend more time online and under lockdown orders.
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TikTok has pledged $250 million to local organizations around the world supporting healthcare, education, and struggling communities impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.In a blog post published Thursday, TikTok Global President Alex Zhu detailed the company's plans to contribute to relief efforts. This pledge is in addition to donations TikTok has already announced and distributed, including $10 million to the World Health Organization and $15 million to the Center for Disease Control. The company says it plans to provide more details on the organizations it's supporting in "coming months."
The remaining $10 million will come from TikTok's pledge to match $10 million in donations to local organizations made by its users. A TikTok spokesperson told Business Insider that the company has yet to set up its matching program, but that these donations will be made directly to the organizations.TikTok also said in its blog post it would be providing $25 million in ads to "trusted organizations" delivering COVID-19 information, as well as $100 million in ad credits to companies.
TikTok's parent company, ByteDance, is a Chinese company worth $75 billion, making it the most valuable private company in the world.TikTok's $250 million pledge is one of the largest donations made by major tech organizations. Facebook has committed $20 million to match coronavirus relief donations, $100 million to support news outlets, and $100 million in grants to help small businesses. Amazon and Microsoft have donated $1 million each to a Seattle-area rapid response fund, while Apple has pledged $15 million to relief efforts. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, the richest person in the world, donated $100 million to a nonprofit helping food banks feed families in need. Meanwhile, Google has committed to giving $800 million to support businesses and health organization.The single largest contribution from the tech world so far has come from Jack Dorsey, the CEO of Twitter and Square. Dorsey announced this week he was putting $1 billion worth of his Square equity into a new charity fund focused on COVID-19 relief, which would later transition to funding girls' health and education after the pandemic has been contained. Twitter itself has pledged $1 million to journalism nonprofits.
More than 1.5 million cases of COVID-19 have been reported worldwide, and nearly 90,000 related deaths have been recorded. Millions around the world are under quarantine and shelter-in-place orders to stymie the spread of the virus. The lockdown in Wuhan, China, was recently lifted.
TikTok's app, known for the viral, short-form videos its users create, has seen a surge in popularity in recent weeks as countries are placed under quarantine and people are adjusting to life indoors. TikTok saw app downloads and user spending spike in March, according to numbers provided by mobile analytics firm Sensor Tower. TikTok itself has put together livestreamed programming featuring creators and celebrities, and has emphasized official COVID-19 information from the Center for Disease Control and WHO.Users have also filled TikTok with light-hearted content providing an alternative to coronavirus news, including doctors taking dance breaks, people sharing DIY fashion and home renovation projects, and quarantined families making creative uses of their time at home together.
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