TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Foxconn Technology Group founder Terry Gou (郭台銘) says he's waiting for a green light from Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) to import vaccines via a Chinese company, reports said Friday (May 28).
The previous day, a spokesperson for the tycoon said Gou wanted to buy 10 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine from Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical Chairman Guo Guangchang (郭廣昌). The deal is politically sensitive due to China’s involvement.
Nevertheless, Gou said he still wanted to obtain between 5-10 million doses for a donation to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). All he needs, he said, is the agreement of Taiwan’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA), ETtoday reported.
A spokesman for the Presidential Office said the management of vaccine procurement is in the hands of the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC), headed by Health and Welfare Minister Chen Shih-chung (陳時中).
It was reportedly United States President Joe Biden receiving his first jab that persuaded Gou to act and search for vaccines. He feared that Taiwan was not acting fast enough, so he reached out to Fosun through his business connections, according to ETtoday.
While the BioNTech vaccines were made in Germany, Fosun holds the distribution rights for the Greater China area, complicating Gou’s efforts. His business aides have said this is a business matter rather than political — though he was surprised that details had been leaked to the media.