TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical claimed that anyone in Taiwan wanting to import BioNTech COVID-19 shots needed its approval, potentially throwing up new problems for Taiwanese tycoon Terry Gou’s (郭台銘) attempt to import the vaccines directly from Germany, reports said Saturday (June 12).
The founder of iPhone maker Foxconn Technology Group has been seeking to import 5 million of the German-made vaccines to Taiwan as the country has been battling a shortage amid a surge of local COVID infections.
Gou’s Yonglin Foundation filed documents with the authorities to import the vaccines as producers said they would only deal directly with governments, not with private individuals or organizations.
On Saturday, CNA quoted Chinese financial news service Xueqiu reporting from a Shanghai Fosun shareholders’ meeting that no matter who in Taiwan, whether the government or private individuals, who wanted to buy BioNTech vaccines needed to talk to the company. Shanghai Fosun reportedly obtained BioNTech distribution rights for the “Greater China” region, including Taiwan, in March 2020.
The company reportedly wanted to reassure shareholders that it could manage the situation in Taiwan and that any potential buyers of BioNTech vaccines could not go behind its back.