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Social media giant Facebook is giving a US$1000 (HK$7800) bonus to all of its employees worldwide as a way to support them due to the financial hardship caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The news comes as Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg announced that the company also plans to give away a total of $100 million in “cash grants and ad credits” to 30,000 small businesses – spread across 30 countries – to help them survive during the COVID-19 outbreak.

“In recent weeks, we have seen inspiring examples of individuals and groups helping each other. People across the globe are stepping up, rising to the enormous challenge in front of us,” Sandberg was reported as saying on The Wrap website.

“We want to do our part too. Small businesses are the heartbeat of our communities, and many of the people who run these businesses are heavily affected by the crisis – especially as more and more people are sensibly staying home,” she added.

“The longer the crisis goes on, the greater the risk to small businesses and to the livelihoods of their owners and employees.”

At the time of writing it is not known if the largesse will also be extended to contract workers.