China’s medical devices exports up more than 40% in 2020 amid fight against COVID-19
Published: Jan 14, 2021 03:18 PM

A medical worker wearing protective equipment takes a swab sample from a student for a COVID-19 test in Rabat, Morocco, Jan. 12, 2021. Morocco on Tuesday reported 801 new COVID-19 cases, taking the tally of infections in the country since March 2 to 453,789. A campaign to detect the new variants of COVID-19 has been organized in middle and high schools across six regions in the country. (Photo by Chadi/Xinhua)

China's exports of medical devices surged more than 40 percent in 2020, contributing to the global fight against COVID-19, customs data showed on Thursday. 

According to the General Administration of Customs (GAC), China's exports of medical machinery and devices increased 40.5 percent in 2020 compared to the previous year, reaching $18.138 billion.

Exports of some medical related products, including masks and medicines, jumped 31 percent in 2020 year-on-year, Chinese customs spokesman Li Kuiwen told a press conference on Thursday.

In 2020, China's total exports gained 3.6 percent in dollar terms, far better than initially expected, despite the fallout of the pandemic, driven partly by the surging global demand of medical related products. 

In a research report sent to the Global Times on Wednesday, Wang Tao, chief China economist at UBS, said China's exports in 2020 were stronger than expected, owing to rising demand for protective gear and stay-at-home products, even against the backdrop of higher US tariffs on Chinese products. 

China's exports of medical devices have been on the rise since early 2020. According to the GAC, in the first half of 2020, China's total exports of medical supplies reached $16.3 billion, up more than 22 percent year-on-year. Most of the exported devices were supplied to the US, Japan and the UK. 

According to a report by the China Association for Medical Devices Industry, some of the medical devices associated with detection of COVID-19 saw exceptional growth in 2020. Exports of infrared thermometers, for example, rose more than 2,358 percent in the first half of 2020, reaching $1.059 billion in trade value.
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