LONDON — Luxury, beauty and jewelry brands, as well as property developers, are donating to charities and local government to help battle the coronavirus, as the death toll in China rose to 106, with the number of infections almost doubling in a day to more than 4,500. Some 71 people have recovered from the disease.
Wuhan, the epicenter of the virus, and its neighboring cities are still in lockdown. Hong Kong SAR, the disputed region of Taiwan, Singapore and North Korea have tightened travel restrictions to prevent the virus spreading. The sickness has already traveled across China and to at least 16 countries globally.
LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton has pledged 16 million renminbi, or $2.3 million, to the Chinese Red Cross Foundation to help alleviate the urgent medical supplies shortage in Wuhan. In addition, the luxury conglomerate will help to obtain and provide important medical supplies from France and throughout Europe via the foundation.
Kering made a 7.5 million renminbi, or $1.08 million, donation on behalf of its 13 fashion and luxury brands to the Hubei Red Cross Foundation.
François-Henri Pinault, chairman and chief executive officer of Kering, told WWD: “Our thoughts are with the many impacted by the novel coronavirus outbreak, and therefore we have decided to donate the funds as an immediate contribution to assist.”
L’Oréal donated 5 million renminbi, or $720,000, to the Chinese Red Cross Foundation to purchase medical supplies, such as masks, goggles and protective clothing. The Estée Lauder Cos. Inc. and Shiseido have also chipped in 2 million renminbi, or $290,000, and 1 million renminbi, or $140,000 respectively.
Jewelry brand Swarovski has donated 3 million renminbi or $430,000, while Hong Kong jewelry company Chow Tai Fook has given 2 million renminbi.
Swire Group, the owner of luxury commercial properties in Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu and Guangzhou, has offered a 10 million renminbi, or $1.44 million, donation to the Chinese Red Cross Foundation.
Chinese e-commerce and fashion companies are also offering help to fight the outbreak. Alibaba set up a 1 billion renminbi, or $144 million, fund, while Tencent, the owner of WeChat has donated 300 million renminbi, or $43.25 million. Anta, China’s largest sportswear maker, has donated 10 million renminbi to the Chinese Charity Federation.
JD.com has donated 1 million surgical masks and 60,000 units of medical equipment, including handwash, disinfectants and antiviral medicines for respiratory diseases to the city of Wuhan specifically.
Erdos, the world’s largest cashmere supplier, is utilizing its factories that usually make coats, to produce free masks and protective garments for medical works. It is also calling for international help to source medical supplies at their cost.
Jane Wang, vice president and executive director of Erdos Holding Group and general manager of Erdos Cashmere Group, said, “Facing the epidemic situation, no one can sit outside. I urge everybody to act for the emergency situation to provide protective necessities for the local area, and I pray for their safety.”
Trendy International Group, the parent of Miss Sixty, Orchirly and Five Plus, has donated 10 million renminbi, or $1.44 million, to the Wuhan government to purchase medical supplies, hospital infrastructure and to pay doctors and nurses at the frontline.
Peacebird gave 10 million renminbi, or $1.44 million, to the Ningbo government, where the company is based, for epidemic prevention.
It’s estimated that more than 20 billion renminbi, or $2.88 billion, has been donated to fight the coronavirus at press time.
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