BEIJING, May 22 (Reuters) - China's Shanghai Fosun
Pharmaceutical Group Co Ltd is willing to provide
Taiwan with BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines, its chairman Wu Yifang
told Xinhua news agency, amid a spike in domestic infections on
Fosun signed a deal with BioNTech to exclusively
develop and commercialise COVID-19 vaccine products developed
using BioNTech's mRNA technology in mainland China, Hong Kong,
Macau and Taiwan.
BioNTech's development and distribution partner for the rest
of the world is U.S. firm Pfizer Inc.
Wu said certain groups in Taiwan he did not name had been in
touch for an emergency purchase of vaccines and the company was
willing to "provide vaccine services to Taiwan compatriots".
Since last year, Fosun has been promoting vaccines for
Taiwan, Wu said, adding they hope shots can arrive on the island
soon to help prevent a resurgent spread of the virus.
Fosun did not immediately reply to a Reuters request for
Taiwan's government has said it is talking with BioNTech
rather than Fosun, and that the two sides were on the verge of
announcing a deal in December when BioNTech pulled the
Taiwan has implied China was to blame for the failed deal,
while China has blamed Taiwan for trying to circumvent Fosun.
BioNTech said in February it planned to provide the vaccine
to Taiwan, but has not provided further details and declined to
comment on the progress of talks in a statement to Reuters this
China claims Taiwan as its own territory, and has repeatedly
sparred with the island over the coronavirus pandemic. Taiwan
has accused China of spreading fake news, which Beijing
Taiwan has received only around 700,000 vaccine doses to
date, all from AstraZeneca Plc, and those are rapidly
running out as it steps up vaccinations during a spike in
Taiwan has millions more doses on order, including from
Moderna Inc, but like many other parts of the world has
faced delivery delays due to global shortages.
(Reporting by Beijing newsroom; Writing by Ben Blanchard;
Editing by Lincoln Feast.)