Chinese private companies make, export PPEs

By Xie Jun Source:Global Times Published: 2020/3/29 17:23:40

Workers package face masks in the Zhejiang Kaierhai Textile Garments Co in Shaoxing of East China's Zhejiang Province. The clothing maker recently started to produce and export face masks and other COVID-19 prevention materials when their traditional business is threatened by pandemic, with foreign customers suspending their orders. Photo: Yang Hui/GT

Many export  oriented  private companies in East China's Zhejiang Province have started to manufacture face masks and other personal protection equipment  to export to other countries and help fight the spreading coronavirus there. 

At Zhejiang Kaierhai Textile Garments Co, a clothing maker in Shaoxing, East China's Zhejiang Province, a dozen workers were making and packing masks on Friday. The company's two production lines can make about 400,000 medical masks a day. 

The company started to make surgical masks on March 5, when foreign orders and enquiries rose with the spread of the coronavirus globally. The company also exported other pandemic-prevention materials like disinfectants and thermometers. 

"A customer in Croatia ordered 100,000 bottles of disinfectant from us, which it will pick up by a chartered flight. An Australian company ordered a container of pandemic prevention materials including face masks and disinfectant," Jin Xiaobo, CEO of Kaierhai, told the Global Times.  

Kaierhai, a supplier for several well-known international fashion brands, is just one of many private companies in Zhejiang that has adjusted as its traditional business was battered by the pandemic. 

According to Jin, nearly all of Kaierhai's foreign customers asked them to halt deliveries amid the pandemic. About half of their customers asked for a two-week delay, while the others told them to wait for later notice. 

"We got no new orders after March 20, but fortunately no customers have canceled orders yet," he said.  

Sun Honggen, who owns a booth in Yiwu, Zhejiang, selling sanitary towels and other hygiene items, said his plant in East China's Fujian has been testing face mask machines, and he was prepared to start production on Sunday. 

"In my business circle, more than 98 percent of entrepreneurs recently started to sell virus-prevention products like face masks," Sun told the Global Times. He added that because of the coronavirus and rising raw material costs, orders for sanitary towels have dropped significantly, and two of the factory's three sanitary towel production lines are idle. 

"I need to feed my workers, and selling face masks is an option," he said. 

Ye Hang, an economics professor at the College of Economics of Zhejiang University, said that selling virus-prevention products could help many companies get through current operational difficulties caused by the virus 

"The peak of coronavirus has not arrived yet, and there's  a considerable shortage of medical products in the world, a business opportunity that Chinese companies could grasp given China's complete industrial chains," he told the Global Times. 

Bloomberg reported on March 10 that the US was stockpiling but had only about 1 percent of the 3.5 billion face masks it needs to combat the viral outbreak. Some countries like Germany and South Korea banned exports of masks in the face of tight supply.


blog comments powered by Disqus