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CHINA BRIEF | ByteDance’s founder donates USD 10 million to COVID-19 therapeutics accelerator project backed by Bill Gates

The accelerator was launched in March with a USD 125 million fund.

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Zhang Yiming, founder and CEO of ByteDance, the company behind short-video apps TikTok and Douyin, has donated USD 10 million to the COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator, a project funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Forbes reported on Monday.

Launched in March with a USD 125 million fund, the project also counts Wellcome Trust, Mastercard, Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan’s philanthropic arm CZI, the UK government, and pop star Madonna as supporters.

The accelerator was set to coordinate R&D efforts, remove barriers to drug development, and scale-up treatments to address the pandemic, together with the World Health Organization, researchers, governments, and the private sector, according to its website. It has invested in the evaluation of already approved drugs such as hydroxychloroquine and in creating platforms for studying new therapeutics.

In April, ByteDance kicked off a new wave of hiring in the middle of the global COVID-19 crisis, recruiting talents for 10,000 positions, on track to hit this year’s goal of expanding its global headcount to 100,000 employees, KrASIA reported.

This article is part of KrASIA’s “China Brief” section, where KrASIA’s reporters will provide quick daily updates about the tech ecosystem in China.