This file photo taken on November 21, 2019 shows the logo of the social media video sharing app Tiktok displayed on a tablet screen in Paris. TikTok, the fast-growing mobile video app, pledged on April 9, 2020 to contribute $250 million to coronavirus relief efforts around the world. The Chinese-based firm, which US officials and lawmakers have assailed for potential security risks, said the funds would be for "front line medical workers, educators, and local communities deeply affected by the global crisis."
AFP/Lionel Bonaventure
TikTok pledges $250 million for COVID-19 relief
(Agence France-Presse) - April 10, 2020 - 9:06am

WASHINGTON, United States — TikTok, the fast-growing mobile video app, pledged Thursday to contribute $250 million to coronavirus relief efforts around the world.

TikTok, which US officials and lawmakers have assailed for potential security risks, said the funds would be for "front line medical workers, educators, and local communities deeply affected by the global crisis."

The move follows similar announcements from technology firms including Google, Facebook and Netflix as well as from leaders of Microsoft, Amazon and Twitter.

"We are committed to playing our part in that global outpouring of mutual support and giving," TikTok president Alex Zhu said in a statement.

"We want to magnify all we are seeing across our community and translate it into concrete relief for those most affected by this crisis."

TikTok said $150 million of the funds would be allocated for medical staffing, supplies, and hardship relief for health care workers through the US Centers for Disease Control, World Health Organization, and agencies working to distribute supplies in hard-hit countries including India, Indonesia, Italy and South Korea. 

Another $40 million will be donated to "organizations that serve groups representative of TikTok's diverse user communities, including musicians, artists, nurses, educators, and families that have come together on our platform," Zhu said. 

TikTok said it would match $10 million in donations to its "community relief fund," with some of that going to artists, songwriters, and music professionals hurt by cancelled performances and gig work.

Another $50 million will be applied to a "creative learning fund" to support distance learning efforts worldwide.

TikTok, popular with teens for its short music videos, has become one of the most widely used social platforms in recent months and has seen interest surge during the pandemic.

The application, owned by Chinese tech company ByteDance, saw 65 million worldwide downloads in March, according to analytics site SensorTower.

But officials from the FBI, the Justice Department and Homeland Security have warned that the video-sharing app could become another tool exploited by Chinese intelligence services.

TikTok has denied any ties with the Chinese government and notes that the app does not exist in China.

NOVEL CORONAVIRUS TIKTOK
As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: May 31, 2020 - 9:01am

Follow this page for updates on a mysterious pneumonia outbreak that has struck dozens of people in China.

May 31, 2020 - 9:01am

The US recorded 960 coronavirus deaths on Saturday, bringing its total to 103,758 since the global pandemic began, according to a tally kept by Johns Hopkins University.

The country has officially logged 1,769,776 cases of the virus, far more than any other nation, the tracker by the Baltimore-based university showed at 8:30 pm (0030 GMT Sunday). — AFP

May 30, 2020 - 8:49pm

The Department of Health reports 590 new cases of the coronavirus disease, bringing the national tally to 17,224.

Of the new confirmed cases, 252 were considered "fresh" and 338 were positive results returned “late.”

There are 88 recoveries 8 deaths, the Health department adds.

May 30, 2020 - 5:35pm

The Department of Health announces that the COVID-19 case bulletin for Saturday, May 30, 2020 will be released around 8:00 p.m.

May 29, 2020 - 9:37pm

The Department of Health reports 1,046 new cases of the coronavirus disease, the highest surge in a day in the Philippines. This brings the national tally to 16,634.

The agency says there are 122 recoveries and 21 new fatalities. 

May 29, 2020 - 5:39pm

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire says that out of the 539 new cases reported Thursday, only 109 were "fresh cases" or those confirmed in the last three days.

The remaining were reported infections from last week.

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