Foxconn i TSMC they resolve political drama even though they serve their own technological production interests. The Wall Street Journal reports that the two companies agreed to purchase 10 million doses of Pfizer / BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine on behalf of the Taiwanese government. The two are buying footage from Fosun Pharmaceuticals after China allegedly “climbed” Taiwan’s offer to buy the vaccine directly.
There was pressure to agree. Taiwan generally kept COVID-19 levels low during the pandemic, but new cases began to rise in late April and led to rare restrictions on the island. As infections decline, Taiwan has vaccinated only about 14 percent of its population. It will take many more doses if the restrictions are lifted and the cases are low.
Technical companies have previously offered to purchase vaccines for employees and suppliers. Apple, for example, helped TSMC buy vaccines for its staff. Such a large purchase opens up new ground for the general population – companies are buying enough doses to inject over 40 percent of Taiwan’s 24 million people.
Foxconn and TSMC have strong incentives to get involved. Epidemics could harm their business, even for those factories and other facilities outside Taiwan. This could be especially dangerous in the middle of a global chip shortage and other production headaches – mass infections and exclusions can cause further cutting. Such a purchase of the vaccine could save companies money in the long run.
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