In late April 2021, BioNTech’s chief executive predicted that the vaccine would win approval and be available in China by July “at the latest.”
Barely two weeks later, in May 2021, Fosun and BioNTech had decided 100 million doses was not enough. They announced a deal to build a Chinese plant with the capacity to make 1 billion vaccine doses annually.
By mid-July, Chinese media outlets were reporting that the Chinese government was reviewing the BioNTech vaccine, with trial production expected to begin in August.
More than a year after Fosun said it would import mRNA vaccines to China, and six months after Chinese regulators supposedly reviewed the clinical trial results, the vaccine remains unavailable.
Instead, in November, the Chinese announced that they had supposedly begun trials on their own mRNA vaccine. No one seems to have any idea when those trials will be finished, but they have the effect of resetting the clock and giving the bluecheck geniuses at places like the FT a way to pretend that the Chinese are moving aggressively ahead with mRNA.