Special Feature
Part of a ZDNet Special Feature: Coronavirus: Business and technology in a pandemic

Razer to donate 1 million surgical masks to healthcare workers fighting COVID-19

With its CEO saying combatting the pandemic is everyone's responsibility.

In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, gaming hardware manufacturer Razer will be helping with the worldwide shortage of personal protective equipment.

Razer CEO Min-Liang Tan revealed via Twitter that his company intends to donate up to 1 million surgical masks to global health authorities.

"With the worsening of the COVID-19 situation, health authorities worldwide are facing an extreme shortage of surgical masks used by the frontline healthcare staff in the battle against the virus. Some countries have even banned the export of masks in face of the dire shortage," Tan tweeted.

"Over the past few days, our designers and engineers have been working 24-hour shifts to convert some of our existing manufacturing lines to produce surgical masks so that we can donate them to countries around the world."

The CEO said everyone has a part to play in fighting the virus, and that it doesn't matter which industry is usually the business' focus.

With Razer's SouthEast Asia headquarters in Singapore, Tan said his company would reach out to health authorities in Singapore to donate some of the initial mask shipments for the fight against COVID-19.

"The rest of our Razer global/regional offices will also be reaching out to their respective governments/health authorities to see how we can prioritize our support and donations of surgical masks in the various countries and regions where we have a presence," he continued.

Tan said Razer is committed to contributing its extra time, resources, effort, and talent toward the fight against the pandemic.

Earlier this week, Jack Ma Foundation and Alibaba Foundation jointly announced they would be sourcing, and donating, materials required to fight COVID-19 in Japan, Korea, Italy, Iran, and Spain.

The start of the aid will see the organisations send 500,000 testing kits and 1 million masks to the United States.

"Drawing from my own country's experience, speedy and accurate testing and adequate personal protective equipment for medical professionals are most effective in preventing the spread of the virus," Jack Ma said.

"We hope that our donation can help Americans fight against the pandemic!"

Ma said the fight against COVID-19 is bigger than just one country, and that "we can't beat this virus unless we eliminate boundaries to resources and share our know-how and hard-learned lessons".

Alibaba's cloud business unit also this week announced it is offering its artificial intelligence-powered technologies to provide data insights on COVID-19 and speed up diagnosis.

The Chinese tech giant is hoping a suite of applications jointly developed by its cloud experts, researchers from its subsidiary DAMO Academy, and engineers from its communications platform DingTalk will help support medical professionals worldwide in combatting the virus.