Vaccine scandal may stoke further public outcry against Beijing

Vaccine scandal may stoke further public outcry against Beijing

Today, a Chinese vaccine maker accused of falsifying data will resume trading its shares. The move comes after police detained

China vaccine scandal

Photo: AFP

Today, a Chinese vaccine maker accused of falsifying data will resume trading its shares.

The move comes after police detained its chairwoman and a Chinese government graft watchdog launched an official investigation on Tuesday.

The firm, Changsheng Bio-technology Co Ltd, has been accused of fabricating production and inspection records related to a rabies vaccine regularly given to infants. The vaccine maker also allegedly sold 252,600 doses of ineffective DPT vaccines to inoculate children against diphtheria, whooping cough and tetanus.

The Chinese government has taken a peculiar interest in the situation. For example, President Xi Jinping, who rarely comments on public cases, has already denounced the scandal as “vile and shocking” and has promised an “investigat[ion] to the end”. Government regulators have ordered Changsheng to halt its production and recall the rabies vaccine.

The scandal could have major implications for the future of Chinese public outcry for investigations into pharmaceutical industry practices and industry practices in general. While the Chinese government continues to tepidly denounce Changsheng and censor public outrage, the scandal could set a precedent of “speaking out”. Anti-regime activists may be encouraged to take further actions in challenging Beijing on its regulation of private sector activities.

Wake up smarter with an assessment of the stories that will make headlines in the next 24 hours. Download The Daily Brief.