Chinese companies currently sell most of the personal protective supplies that healthcare workers in other countries are using to combat COVID-19, and the country’s factories are uniquely poised to maintain that advantage even after demand related to this pandemic subsides.
Alarmed at China’s stranglehold over supplies of masks, gowns, test kits and other front-line weapons for battling the coronavirus, countries around the world have set up their own factories to cope with this pandemic and outbreaks of the future.
When the outbreak subsides, those factories may struggle to survive. China has laid the groundwork to dominate the market for protective and medical supplies for years to come.
Factory owners get cheap land, courtesy of the Chinese government. Loans and subsidies are plentiful. Chinese hospitals are often told to buy locally, giving China’s suppliers a vast and captive market.
Once vaccines emerge, demand will plummet. Factories will close. But Chinese companies are likely to have the lowest costs by far and be best positioned for the next global outbreak.
Read the full story on the New York Times.