Coronavirus News Asia

China seizes over 89 million shoddy face masks

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China has confiscated over 89 million poor quality face masks, a government official said Sunday, as Beijing faces a slew of complaints about faulty protective gear exported worldwide.

Demand for protective equipment has soared as nations across the globe battle the deadly coronavirus.

But a number of countries have complained about faulty masks and other products exported by China, mostly for use by medical workers and vulnerable groups.

As of Friday, China’s market regulators had inspected nearly 16 million businesses and seized over 89 million masks and 418,000 pieces of protective gear, said Gan Lin, deputy director of the State Administration of Market Regulation, at a press conference.

Regulators had also seized ineffective disinfectants worth over 7.6 million yuan ($1.1 million), she said.

It is unclear how much of the confiscated goods were destined for markets abroad.

In a bid to eliminate poor-quality products, China released new rules Saturday saying even non-medical masks must meet both national and international quality standards.

Exporters must file a written declaration that their medical products meet the safety requirements of the destination country, the ministry of commerce said in a statement.

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