In order to contribute to the Japanese government’s initiatives to accelerate COVID-19 vaccination in Japan, SoftBank Group Corp., in cooperation with its Group companies, has sequentially set up vaccination sites nationwide since June 2021. By the end of October, approximately 210,000 doses of the vaccine had been administered at 10 sites nationwide to employees of Group companies, their families, business partners, healthcare workers, and local residents. Furthermore, we’ll continue group-wide efforts to get 200,000 people vaccinated with the third dose early.
Our Response to COVID-19
The spread of the new coronavirus is having a serious impact on our lives and the economy. The SoftBank Group, which aims to become the corporate group needed most by people around the world, is working to promote initiatives that leverage the strengths of each group company and to provide various types of support in response to changing circumstances.
We are also striving to ensure the safety of our employees and their families and to prevent the spread of infections by encouraging flexible work styles including remote work, and offering PCR testing on a regular basis.
The SoftBank Group will continue to work as one to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and to help return to normalcy as soon as possible.
Initiatives for Society
Efforts to Accelerate Vaccination Rollout（SoftBank Group Corp.）
Establishing PCR Testing Center （SoftBank Group Corp.）
SoftBank Group Corp. established Coronavirus Inspection Center Corp. (currently SB Coronavirus Inspection Center Corp.) in July 2020, with the aim of preventing the spread of COVID-19 infections and achieving an early normalization of economic activity.
The company operates dedicated testing facilities in Tokyo and Fukuoka for saliva COVID-19 PCR testing. As a part of its social contribution activities, it provides high-quality and safe PCR testing for companies, local governments, and individuals at a low price, charging only for the actual cost. The testing capacity is about 21,000 tests per day and it had conducted approximately 3,400,000 tests by the end of December 2021.
Providing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and Antibody Test Kits to Medical Institutions (SoftBank Group Corp.)
SoftBank Group Corp. has been steadily procuring masks, face shields, goggles, protective clothing, gowns, and nitrile rubber gloves since April 2020, when the spread of COVID-19 infections became prevalent in Japan. As of the end of March 2021, we have provided about 350 million masks, 410,000 face shields, 85,000 goggles, 1 million pieces of protective clothing, 10 million gowns, and 2 million nitrile rubber gloves to the government, local governments, private companies, healthcare workers, etc. for no profit.
Furthermore, after May 2020, when there was an urgent need to determine the status of infections in Japan, approximately 328,000antibody test kits were procured and provided free of charge to medical institutions, etc. It helped to assess the status of infections among healthcare workers, and at the same time, the disclosure of test results of the Group and business partners, along with data obtained in cooperation with those places, contributed to the assessment of infections in Japan and discussions for countermeasures, as well as to our understanding of infections within our company.
Initiatives by Group Companies and Portfolio Companies
SoftBank Vision Fund1
The portfolio companies of SoftBank Vision Fund 1 operated by SB Investment Advisers (UK) Limited, a subsidiary of SoftBank Group Corp., are taking the following measures against COVID-19.
|Fanatics||Fanatics raised $59M for US food charities through the All-in Challenge, an online auction for celebrity experiences/ products. They also converted a US factory for MLB Jerseys to manufacture and donate masks and gowns to frontline workers|
|Flexport||Flexport raised over $8M and helped source, fund and deliver over 171M critical supplies|
|Ping An Good Doctor||Ping An Good Doctor donated 450K masks immediately to Wuhan at the start of the pandemic, and rapidly assisted 56 provinces with online medical consultation, education and prevention|
|Roivant||Roivant is rapidly advancing clinical-stage trials for treatment of Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome caused by COVID-19|
|VIR||Vir is isolating antibodies to potentially treat or prevent COVID-19 infections|
|Flexport + Clutter||In the U.S., Flexport and Clutter are working together to move Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to the frontlines. Flexport is handling shipping and Clutter is providing storage facilities and delivering this protective gear to healthcare workers|
|Collective Health||Collective Health launched a COVID-19 website to the public with 60-second Risk Assessment tool to encourage self-isolation|
|Mapbox||Mapbox is helping organizations, such as Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO), with real-time data visualization of the outbreak to target support needs|
|Grab + Tokopedia||Grab, Tokopedia and OVO jointly contributed IDR 1 billion to Indonesia’s Taskforce for Accelerating Handling of COVID-19|
|DiDi||Didi setup a $10M fund to support drivers infected with COVID-19, and provided free transport for healthcare workers and communities in Wuhan, China at the start of the pandemic|
|DoorDash||DoorDash cut commissions by 50%, benefiting 150K US local restaurants, and launched a United Way partnership to deliver food and goods to vulnerable populations. They also offered at-cost and subsidized delivery for non-profit organizations responding to COVID-19|
|OYO||OYO is providing free stays to healthcare workers in the U.S. and potentially other geographies; providing quarantine sites in India|
|Paytm||PayTM partnered with KVN Foundation to offer 75K meals to daily wage workers per day, and raised over Rs 100 Cr for the Prime Minister’s Fund to fight coronavirus, with the aim to raise Rs 500 Cr|
|Rappi||Rappi delivered 500K free meals to hospital workers in Latin America, setup a support fund for infected couriers and trialed robot deliveries to reduce potential infections among couriers|
|Uber||Uber pledged 10M free rides and meals to support healthcare workers, feed first responders, support local restaurants and move critical supplies with Uber Freight|
|REEF + Uber||In the U.S., REEF Technology and Uber are partnering to deliver needed goods to consumers. REEF converted parking lots into fulfillment centers and launched its online “Stock-Up Mart” on UberEats’ technology platform. UberEats manages last mile delivery of goods to consumers|
As of November 5,2020. Press release, etc. of each portfolio company. Portfolio company names are abbreviated.
SoftBank Corp. has been thorough in its infection control measures at shop so customers can feel safe using services. It has also provided support through its telecommunications business, helping companies manage telework and assisting students who have switched to online classes due to COVID-19 have an environment where they can study at home.
Other Group Companies
Other Group companies are also taking various actions. Please see our Sustainability Report 2021 for further details.
Initiatives for Employees
SoftBank Group Corp. shifted to remote work in principle since April 2020, when the state of emergency related to COVID-19 was declared for the first time in Japan. Since then, we have prepared a working environment that employees can flexibly switch between coming to the office and working from home. We are also making sure we manage entries into buildings thoroughly by a temperature detection system that utilizes AI when employees come to the office. Furthermore, we have regularly conducted saliva PCR tests for all employees since August 2020, enabling us to maintain stability in our business operations and to create an environment where employees can feel safe at work.
In addition, from June 2021, we conducted workplace vaccinations not only for our employees but also for employees of domestic Group companies, their families, and business partners. Employees are allowed to get vaccinated during working hours and are granted up to three days of special paid leave if they need to rest due to adverse reactions or if they need to accompany or care for family members who have been vaccinated.
Please see our Sustainability Report 2021 for further details of our efforts about working style in the COVID-19 pandemic.