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Alibaba's Cainiao says it is in talks with Chinese vaccine makers over COVID-19 logistics

Alibaba's Cainiao says it is in talks with Chinese vaccine makers over COVID-19 logistics

Cainiao's logo is seen at a warehouse in Wuxi, Jiangsu province, China on Oct 26, 2020. (Photo: Reuters/Aly Song)

BEIJING: Alibaba Group's Cainiao is in talks with Chinese vaccine makers over COVID-19 vaccine logistics, a spokeswoman said on Thursday (Dec 3), as the company launched a partnership with Ethiopian Airlines to transport medicine to the Middle East and Africa.

"We are currently in discussion with some domestic COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers and international organisations on cooperation over COVID-19 vaccine logistics," the spokeswoman said.

Cainiao, a logistics company, underpins delivery for Alibaba's e-commerce marketplace, and it says it aims to deliver across the globe in 72 hours. The spokeswoman did not name the vaccine makers.

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The company and Ethiopian Airlines launched a special cold chain air freight service to transport temperature-sensitive medicines from the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen to Africa and the rest of the world via Dubai and Addis Abba.

"This is China's first cross-border medical cold chain route to be operated regularly and is certified to transport temperature-controlled medicines including COVID-19 vaccines," Cainiao said in a statement.

China has several vaccine developers running the final stages of clinical trials to determine the efficacy of their COVID-19 vaccine candidates. They include Sinovac Biotech, CanSinoBio and China National Pharmaceutical Group (Sinopharm).

Cold chain storage and transportation have become increasingly important during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has killed nearly 1.5 million people. The promising Pfizer vaccine, for instance, is required to be stored at temperatures of minus 70 degrees Celsius or below.

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Source: Reuters/zl


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