Covid-19: Singaporean boss of gaming firm Razer announces move to make 1 million surgical masks to be donated

Singaporean Tan Min-Liang, the chief executive officer and co-founder of gaming accessories firm Razer. — Reuters pic
Singaporean Tan Min-Liang, the chief executive officer and co-founder of gaming accessories firm Razer. — Reuters pic

SINGAPORE, March 20 — The Singaporean boss of gaming accessories firm Razer has announced that some of its manufacturing lines have been converted to produce one million surgical masks that will be donated globally.

In a Facebook post yesterday, Razer’s chief executive officer and co-founder Tan Min-Liang said staff at Razer had been working 24 hour shifts to carry out the conversions in recent days in order to help address a global shortage of surgical masks amid the escalating Covid-19 crisis.

He added that Razer is in touch with the health authorities of various countries to make arrangements for donating the masks.

Tan, 42, one of Singapore’s highest profile technology entrepreneurs, added that he is in talks with the Singaporean authorities to arrange for some of the initial shipments to be sent here. Razer’s South-east Asian headquarters is in Singapore while it is listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

“The rest of our Razer global and regional offices will also be reaching out to their respective governments and health authorities to see how we can prioritise our support and donations of surgical masks in the various countries and regions where we have a presence,” he said.

Tan’s announcement on Facebook that the firm is moving to produce masks came three days after a commenter on the social media platform asked on Monday if he could look into manufacturing masks for healthcare professionals. In response, Tan said he would think about it.

He said that the Razer team has been working tirelessly to convert the production lines to make the masks over recent days. TODAY understands the masks will be made in China.

“Over the past few days, our designers and engineers have been working 24-hour shifts to convert some of our existing manufacturing lines to produce surgical masks so that we can donate them to countries around the world,” he said.

Tan hopes that the donations will ease the shortage of masks worldwide.

“With the worsening of the Covid-19 situation, health authorities worldwide are facing an extreme shortage of surgical masks used by the frontline healthcare staff in the battle against the virus,” he said.

“Some countries have even banned the export of masks in face of the dire shortage.”

The production lines are being converted to produce masks, although the demand for their regular gaming accessory products is “incredible” as more people stay at home, Tan said.

“While there has been incredible demand for our products during this time with many staying home to avoid the crowds and to play games, the team at Razer understands that all of us have a part to play in fighting the virus — no matter which industry we come from.”

Tan said that the production of the masks is an initial step Razer will be taking for the fight against the pandemic.

“This emergency conversion of some of our lines and donation of masks is the first step of many that Razer will take,” he said.

“We are committed to contributing our extra time, resources, effort and talent toward the fight against Covid-19.” — TODAY

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