China’s Fosun agrees to provide BioNTech vaccines to Taiwan

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Test tubes can be seen in this illustration from May 21, 2021 in front of a displayed Biontech logo. REUTERS / Dado Ruvic / illustration

China’s Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical Group Co. Ltd. (600196.SS) is ready to provide BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines to Taiwan, its chairman Wu Yifang told Xinhua News Agency.

Fosun signed an agreement with BioNTech (22UAy.DE) to exclusively develop and commercialize COVID-19 vaccines made using BioNTech’s mRNA technology in mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan.

BioNTech’s development and sales partner for the rest of the world is the US company Pfizer Inc (PFE.N).

Wu said certain groups in Taiwan that he did not name had been in contact over an emergency purchase of vaccines and that the company was ready to “provide vaccination services to Taiwan compatriots.”

Fosun has been promoting vaccines for Taiwan since last year, Wu said, hoping shots can hit the island soon to prevent the virus from spreading again.

Fosun did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

Taiwan’s government has said it is speaking to BioNTech rather than Fosun and that both sides were on the verge of announcing a deal in December when BioNTech pulled the plug.

Taiwan has hinted that China is responsible for the failed deal, while China has accused Taiwan of trying to bypass Fosun.

BioNTech said in February it had planned to ship the vaccine to Taiwan but had not provided any further details and refused to comment on the progress of the talks in a statement to Reuters earlier this week.

China claims Taiwan as its own territory and has repeatedly grappled with the island over the coronavirus pandemic. Taiwan has accused China of spreading false news, which Beijing denies. Continue reading

Taiwan has only received around 700,000 doses of vaccine to date, all from AstraZeneca Plc (AZN.L), and these are running out quickly as vaccinations ramp up during a surge in home infections. Continue reading

Taiwan has ordered millions more cans, including from Moderna Inc (MRNA.O), but as in many other parts of the world, delivery delays have occurred due to global bottlenecks.

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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