TikTok Pledges $375 Million to Coronavirus Relief, Including Direct Funds to MusiCares

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TikTok has unveiled a suite of pledged initiatives totaling around $375 million in response to the coronavirus pandemic, including a direct donation to the Recording Academy’s MusiCares foundation. The social app’s president, Alex Zhu, said in a blog post on Thursday that the company is committed to playing its part in a "global outpouring of mutual support and giving," adding, "we want to magnify all we are seeing across our community and translate it into concrete relief for those most affected by this crisis."

Among the company’s cash contributions include the TikTok Health Heroes Relief Fund, a $150 million effort to help with medical staffing, supplies and hardship pay for support staff at local organizations. To help facilitate those distributions, TikTok is working with national and global organizations like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO). In addition, an employee matching program will benefit various organizations such as Direct Relief and the Red Cross.

To help vulnerable communities being hit the hardest, TikTok is putting up $40 million in cash to local orgs as part of its Community Relief Fund. This fund will be split up to help musicians, artists, educators, nurses and others, with $2 million of that tally going to MusiCares to help music professionals whose jobs have disappeared in recent weeks. “While we know this won't replace being on tour, we hope it can help working artists and music industry professionals through this challenging time," said Zhu.

Corey Sheridan, head of music partnerships and content operations in the U.S. added, “We’re thrilled to be able to support the work of MusiCares through today’s donation. We're thankful for all of the artists and entertainers who rely on TikTok to connect with their fans, and like their fans, we can’t wait until we can see them not from a social distance but live on stage again. But until then, we're so very happy to connect you with them in your home.”

The company said it will be further matching $10 million in donations to support artists and music professionals.

An additional $50 million in grants has been pledged to help educators, experts and non-profits to support distance learning efforts.

TikTok will offer $100 million in ad credits to small and medium-sized business in an effort to help them revive operations once the health crisis subsides and businesses begin to reopen. The company said it will also donate $25 million in prominent in-feed ad space for NGOs and local authorities, enabling them to share important messages.

"Looking ahead, TikTok will be actively seeking more ways to contribute, including identifying the most effective ways to allocate these remaining funds to support ongoing relief needs," said Zhu. "We understand that these are challenging times for everyone. Alongside businesses, governments, NGOs, and ordinary people across the globe stepping up in this critical moment, we are committed to offering the very best that we can to help out humanity. Together, we will persevere through this time of crisis and emerge a better community and part of a world that we fervently hope will be more united in common purpose than it was before."