Two of the world’s largest tech firms Foxconn and TSMC inked an agreement worth £252m for buying 10m doses of Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine for Taiwan.
The deal announced on Monday in a statement by BioNTech’s Chinese sales agent Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical Group.
Under the agreement, Taiwanese firms Foxconn and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC) will buy 5m doses of the vaccine respectively and donate to the government for local vaccination.
Taiwan’s government has been trying for months to buy the vaccine directly from the German manufacturer and blamed China to block the deal.
China, which claimed the self-ruled island as its own territory, denied the accusations.
This highly politicised deal came after the Taiwanese government agreed to allow Foxconn and TSMC, both major Apple suppliers, to negotiate the vaccines on its behalf.
In a statement to Taiwan Stock Exchange, TSMC said 5m doses of Pfizer vaccine will be donated to the Taiwan Centers for Disease Control.
“The donation is an emergency relief made for public welfare due to natural disasters,” the chip manufacturer said.
Meanwhile, Foxconn’s billionaire founder Terry Gou wrote on his Facebook page that he is gratified to seal the deal.
Gou emphasised Beijing did not interfere with the vaccine procurement.
Taiwan’s government has faced intensified pressure from the public to accelerate the vaccination programme as only 0.3 per cent of its population is fully vaccinated.
The US and Japan donated almost 5m covid vaccine jabs to Taiwan, while the island has ordered millions of vaccines, mainly from AstraZeneca and Moderna.