Caixin
Sep 23, 2020 04:33 AM
BUSINESS & TECH

Genscript Biotech Offices Raided and Chairman Detained

What’s New: Hong Kong-listed biotech company Genscript Biotech is being investigated on suspicion of violating China’s import and export rules, the company said Monday in a statement.

Anti-smuggling officials last week raided Genscript’s offices in Nanjing and Shenjiang, the Jiangsu-based company said. Zhang Fangliang, chairman and controlling shareholder of Genscript, was placed under house arrest, the company said without elaborating. Four other employees were also detained.

“The group’s business operations remain normal,” Genscript said. “The company has taken legal advice as appropriate.” Genscript developed the world’s first quick-test kit for the novel coronavirus after the outbreak of Covid-19 in partnership with universities and research institutions in the U.S. and Singapore.

Genscript’s shares plummeted to a 20-month low Tuesday after trading resumed from an abrupt suspension Friday.

Why it matters: Industry sources said the investigation is likely to be part of China’s ongoing crackdown on violations related to the use and export of human genetic resources. Chinese regulators since December have tightened scrutiny of institutions and businesses’ management, use and cross-border transport of materials for genetic studies, one person said.

Established in 2002, Genscript has business operations covering 160 countries and regions with offices in Asia, Europe and North America.

Quick Takes are condensed versions of China-related stories for fast news you can use. To read the full story in Chinese, click here.

Contact reporter Han Wei (weihan@caixin.com) and editor Bob Simison (bobsimison@caixin.com)

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