Chinese medical suppliers expand production of medicines, masks to meet surging demand
Manufacturers rush to expand output of masks, medicines
Published: Dec 13, 2022 07:56 PM Updated: Dec 13, 2022 07:52 PM
A local resident is buying medicine for cough in a pharmacy in Tianjin on December 6, 2022. Photo: VCG

A local resident is buying medicine for cough in a pharmacy in Tianjin on December 6, 2022. Photo: VCG

Chinese medical equipment manufacturers are ramping up production to meet the surging demand for protective masks, fever reduction tablets and electrolytic water after the government moved to optimize its anti-COVID responses last week.

The number of searches related to scientific epidemic prevention and control increased by 15 times in the past week, and in particular, searches for N95 respiratory masks soared by 715 percent, according to data from Baidu's healthcare branch.

According to, an online medical service platform, the sales of N95 masks have increased significantly since December 7, with average daily sales up 27 times from the previous month.

On mainstream e-commerce platforms such as and, a reporter from the Global Times searched "N95 masks" as a keyword and found that most of the top sellers were out of stock, with only a few in stock and others requiring an appointment to purchase.

The Global Times contacted several listed companies that make N95 masks as an investor on Tuesday. A number of listed companies said they saw demand increase suddenly. Some said that the products are out of stock and they will expand production to meeting surging market demand.

A representative of Winner Medical, a Chinese disposable medical product manufacturer, told the Global Times via its investor hotline that the current production capacity cannot meet the sudden surge in demand, and even their own employees of the company cannot buy N95 masks.

"The manufacturing lines are working overtime to catch up with the soaring orders, and we may enlarge production capacity according to the market situation," said the representative.

However, some companies say the current production capacity of N95 masks is still enough to meet demand.

Medical company Hybio Group told the Global Times the group's N95 masks and vitamin C chewable tablets are in high demand, and all manufacturing lines are operating normally, which are able to meet market demand.

"Our company expanded production in 2020, and the current capacity is deemed sufficient. Whether we will expand production depends on the decision of the company's management team," a representative from the company said.

In addition to medical protective masks, medical supplies including ibuprofen, a medicine to reduce fever and treat pain, ethanol for disinfection and electrolytic water, are also in high demand, the Global Times learned.

Shandong Xinhua Pharmaceutical Co is one of two major producers of the raw material of ibuprofen. A representative of the company told the Global Times via its investor hotline that its plants are scrambling to produce more ibuprofen raw materials to meet the soaring demand, and the capacity will be adjusted based on market needs.

According to Shandong Xinhua Pharmaceutical's half-year report, the company recently expanded its annual capacity to 10,000 tons.

According to data from Baidu index, searches for electrolytic water jumped 2,711 percent from December 5 to December 11.

A search for "electrolytic water" on e-commerce platforms such as Taobao and showed that most such products are "out of stock" or "in replenishment"

The soaring demand comes as China optimized its epidemic prevention and control measures on December 7, ranging from allowing home quarantine for mild and asymptomatic cases to reducing nucleic acid tests to make it easier for people to travel and enter public venues.

Many localities including Wuwei city in East China's Anhui Province, Huangshi city in Central China's Hubei Province and Shaoxing city in East China's Zhejiang Province have issued notices, calling for the public to put on masks and better take care of their own health.