Feb 01, 2023 09:29 AM

CX Daily: Where Do Fake Covid Drugs Come From?

Drugs /

In Depth: Where do fake Covid drugs come from?

The rapid unwinding of China’s Covid restrictions last month triggered a wave of stockpiling of antiviral drugs including Paxlovid, but access to the treatment has been limited due to low domestic supply. That opened the door to a thriving black market for Indian generic versions and copies that turned out to be fake.

Pfizer Inc.’s Paxlovid was initially available at prices of 1,890 yuan ($279) to 3,000 yuan for a five-day course of 30 pills only through designated Covid hospitals and some high-end private hospitals. Although Pfizer has increased supplies and the Chinese government has been pushing to make the drug more widely available, only a small number of residents can get their hands on it. Consequently, many people are turning to overseas straw buyers.

Debt /

Local Chinese governments paid $148 billion in interest in 2022

China paid more than 1 trillion yuan ($148 billion) in interest on local government debt last year as the country issued a record amount of local government bonds to bolster the economy with increased public spending.

In 2022, China issued 4.76 trillion yuan of new local government bonds, a record since local governments were enabled to borrow on the open market starting in 2015, according to data released Sunday by the Finance Ministry.


The International Monetary Fund raised its estimate for China’s GDP growth this year to 5.2% from a 4.4% projection made in October.

Economy /

IMF raises China’s 2023 growth forecast to 5.2% as economy reopens

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) raised its estimate for China’s GDP growth this year to 5.2% from a 4.4% projection made in October, citing a faster-than-expected recovery as the world’s second-largest economy fully reopens after three years of stringent Covid-19 restrictions.

The expected rebound will moderate in 2024 however, with the pace of expansion slowing to 4.5% before settling at under 4% over the medium term amid shrinking business dynamism and slow progress on structural reforms, the IMF said in its latest quarterly update to the World Economic Outlook (WEO) released Monday.

China’s economic activity rebounds after reopening

Corruption /

China watchdog seeks indictments for senior grain officials in corruption dragnet

China’s top anti-graft watchdog referred 10 senior agriculture officials, including one former high-level executive from the state stockpiler Sinograin, to prosecutors on allegations of corruption and other discipline violations related to the purchase and sale of grain as the government deepens its crackdown on agencies charged with ensuring food security.

All 10 officials, who also included an executive from a Sinograin local branch and several provincial-level grain department heads, have been expelled from the Communist Party, with two already receiving sentences of between six and half and 12 and half years, according to a statement on the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection’s (CCDI) website Sunday.

Quick hits /

Hong Kong wealth fund posts record $26 billion loss in 2022

Editorial: The urgent need for global cooperation


JD launched JD.ID in 2015 with investors including Provident Capital, with operations starting in 2016 / closes e-commerce businesses in Indonesia and Thailand Inc. is closing its online shopping sites in Indonesia and Thailand as part of the Chinese e-commerce giant’s business strategy revamp in the highly competitive Southeast Asia market.

JD.’s Indonesian online marketplace JD.ID said Monday in a statement that it will stop accepting orders in mid-February and all services will be discontinued by the end of March. Its Thailand counterpart JD Central will cease operations March 3.

Novartis /

Novartis eyes market potential outside biggest Chinese cities

Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis AG is looking to the vast Chinese market outside the biggest cities like Beijing and Shanghai to drive future business growth in the world’s most populous country, said Marie-France Tschudin, president of Innovative Medicines International and chief commercial officer of Novartis.

“We started really focusing on our county strategy, going to tier two and tier three cities,” Tschudin told Caixin during the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos. The strategic shift is partly driven by the pandemic, which underscored the unmet health-care needs in many smaller Chinese cities as people had to travel to big cities for treatment, according to Tschudin.

Flying cars /

XPeng flying car unit wins approval for manned testing

China’s aviation regulator gave Tesla challenger XPeng Inc. the go-ahead for manned tests of its electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) vehicle under certain conditions, moving the firm closer to its goal of mass-producing flying cars for the consumer market.

XPeng Aeroht, the electric-vehicle (EV) maker’s flying car unit, announced on its WeChat account Monday that its eVTOL model XPeng X2 obtained a special permit from the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) for manned testing. The X2 is the first eVTOL model to apply for and get such a permit from the regulator.

Quick hits /

China’s 2022 smartphone sales plunge to lowest level in a decade

China tells Dutch it wants open supply chains amid U.S. chip curbs

Tech Insider / suffers Southeast Asia setback, iFlytek’s stock surges

Long Read /

What Jack Ma taught me in 1999


Curtains for famous Hong Kong fabric market


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