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Taiwanese have 1 week to return fake Chinese masks

Taiwan residents who purchased bogus Chinese masks can exchange them between Sept. 4-11

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Mask with smaller font (top) is made in China. 

Mask with smaller font (top) is made in China.  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — After it was revealed a Taiwan company was caught substituting imported Chinese masks for domestically made versions, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said that Taiwanese who have purchased the masks can return them for authentic masks over a one-week period.

On Wednesday (Sept. 2), pharmacies in New Taipei reported that after receiving their latest shipment of what should have been Taiwan-made masks for the government's real-name rationing system, they also received masks with labeling in the simplified Chinese script used in China, indicating they were made by a company in Anhui Province. In a Facebook post uploaded on Thursday (Sept. 30), Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Lin Shu-fen (林淑芬) revealed the Taiwan company Carry Mask ((加利科技) in August imported 3.37 million masks made in China, relabeling and repackaging them as government-rationed and domestically-manufactured face mask supplies.

Carry Mask on Thursday issued a statement claiming that masks with its brand name emblazoned in the larger font are made in Taiwan, while those which have the brand printed in the smaller font are made in China. Hsu Yu-shan (許有杉), deputy director of the Taiwan Pharmacists Association Hsu, on Friday told CNA that as long as the masks have the Carry Mask label on them, they can be returned to the nearest listed vendor.

If new supplies of rationed masks are available, consumers can receive replacements on the spot, otherwise they can leave their name and contact information to be notified when the next shipment comes in, according to Hsu.

In response, the CECC on Friday (Sept. 4) announced that everyone who purchased the masks from pharmacies and clinics tied to the National Health Insurance (NHI) system, can return them for authentic medical masks from Sept. 4-11. The CECC said that it would cover the administrative costs of the mask returns, but file a claim with Carry Mask to compensate it for the expenses.