Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com plans to make more than 20,000 new jobs available to help minimize the impact of the coronavirus on employment.
The move hopes to help aid small and medium enterprises during the outbreak and support stable employment.
The company is hiring warehouse workers, couriers, and drivers. Some of the jobs will be temporary.
Dada Group, an on-demand delivery service backed by JD.com, will add 15,000 jobs as people in quarantine cities turn to online shopping for food and essentials.
JD.com’s logistics unit will add at least 700 employees from more than 10 companies.
Employees who are hired by JD.com during the outbreak will be provided with protective supplies such as masks and disinfectants. They will also be given regular temperature checks and will receive coronavirus-related insurance.
Meanwhile, on Monday, Alibaba said it had begun an employee-sharing program that would allow workers in hospitality, dining, retail, and other industries to work temporarily at the company.
The virus, which was first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, has infected at least 45,000 people and resulted in 1,100 deaths. Chinese authorities imposed travel restrictions and quarantines on more than a dozen cities in an effort to halt its spread.
JD.com recently reported sales of rice were up 500% year over year. Sales of baking flour were up 470%. The company said it was monitoring third-party platforms to prevent price gouging.
“It is JD’s responsibility to work with partners and help them and their employees get through this special time,” said Chunhua Cao, head of human resources at 7FRESH, JD.com’s supermarket division.
JD.com and Alibaba have also said they would waive fees and offer drone deliveries to assist in the virus response efforts. Cainiao Network, Alibaba’s logistics unit, said it would offer warehouse space rent-free through the end of March for businesses based in Wuhan.
On Monday, Chinese President Xi Jinping said the government was focused on stabilizing the economy and preventing large-scale layoffs.
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said Tuesday that “disruptions” from the outbreak in China could, “spill over to the rest of the global economy.”