Predicting altered choices and consumption patterns after the Covid-19 outbreak, Chinese tech major Alibaba has come up with a solution for retailers, who may face the brunt.
As part of its initiative to support the business continuity, Alibaba has launched a Global SME Enablement programme to provide cloud technology to digitise small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Under this programme, Alibaba Cloud, the data intelligence unit of Alibaba Group, will offer $30 Mn worth credit of cloud assets to new and existing SME clients around the world.
According to Alibaba, the offerings will equip SMEs with solutions needed to maintain business continuity after the pandemic ends. SMEs across the world can apply for Alibaba Cloud credits till June 22. Around 12 products including elastic compute service (ECS), object storage service (OSS), and Alibaba Cloud courses will be offered under the programme. Also, Alibaba Cloud will reach out to SME associations to help meet their members’ technology needs.
General manager at Alibaba Cloud South Asia Alex Li said that India can increase the contribution from its MSME’s to its GDP by 50%. Li believes that a large part of that growth can be achieved now by empowering MSMEs with technology.
Besides offering cloud services, Jack Ma-led Alibaba group has been providing India with personal protective equipment (PPE). On March 28, Red Cross Society received the first batch of medical supplies donated by the Jack Ma Foundation and Alibaba Foundation. Ma has also promised to send the second batch of supplies soon.
Tech Players Digitsing SMEs
With many large corporations coming forward in the fight against Covid-19, tech giant Google has committed over $800 Mn to address some of the challenges faced by businesses in these times.
Out of the total corpus, Google will invest $200 Mn to support NGOs and financial institutions around the world to help provide SMEs with access to capital in these crucial times. It is also offering $340 Mn as Google Ads credits to SMBs which have an active account over the past year.
Social media giant Facebook is also offering $100Mn in cash grants and ad credits to help small businesses during the pandemic. Facebook said the grants will be available for up to 30,000 eligible small businesses in over 30 countries.