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Big Tech steps in with $1bn rescue funds as governments fall short

Alibaba, Google flex financial muscle for virus-hit small businesses

Alibaba Group Holding, which sells fresh produce on its website, will support Chinese farmers struggling to transport produce due to travel restrictions.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- Global tech heavyweights such as Google and Alibaba Group Holding are setting up rescue funds to help small companies hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic, with total assistance approaching $1 billion as government programs fall short.

As economists predict long-lasting economic pain, tech giants are being compelled to protect the suppliers, clients and other players that make their business models possible.

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