Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. has been offering an unusual promotion on its group buying site -- sperm banks.
From July 15 to 17, the Hangzhou-based company’s Juhuasuan website listed Chinese sperm banks which offered subsidies of as much as 5,000 yuan ($805) to donors. Within three days, more than 22,000 men had signed up to donate, the company said in a statement.
Alibaba, which already sells Chinese shoppers everything from books to medicines through its e-commerce sites, has sought to promote new platforms for health-care and group buying. The sperm bank initiative comes as some provinces have faced a shortage of donations.
The donors were connected via Alibaba to seven sperm banks by online booking, a process the company said helped people overcome their shyness. After the appointment, the volunteers were required to show up within three months and pass a physical check up.
More than a hundred people also bought paternity test kits through the group buying site and another 4,060 people purchased sperm motility test kits.
Shanghai produced the most donors, followed by Beijing and Guangdong, according to Alibaba. In a survey Alibaba conducted online, it found that high intelligence and good features were among the more favored traits in donors.
China has more than 50 million infertile couples due to rising work pressure, social and environment changes and stringent donor qualifications, China News reported in March.
Only 136 people qualified as donors out of 1,213 volunteers in Shanxi province in 2014 for example, China News reported.
Alibaba is expanding beyond its core e-commerce business through cloud computing, entertainment and Internet finance.
— With assistance by Lulu Chen, and Hui Li