Tech Firms to Buy Covid-19 Vaccines on Behalf of Taiwan’s Government
Taiwan has been short on Covid-19 vaccines and was locked in a geopolitical fight with China over access to the BioNTech vaccine. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. and Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. have purchased 10 million shots from BioNTech on behalf of the Taiwanese government. The two technology companies are also two of Taiwan’s best-known homegrown companies.
The vaccines purchased through a drug distributor will then be donated to the Taiwan Centers for Disease Control for distributed vaccination. TSMC and Foxconn said the value of the donation amounted to about $350 million. The first batch of doses will be delivered by the end of September. Taiwan is not a member of the World Health Organization, in large part to Beijing’s opposition, and faced an impasse for months over whether the government could purchase vaccines directly from BioNTech. The deal with TSMC and Foxconn circumvents the geopolitical impasse.