Foxconn and TSMC sign contracts to purchase COVID-19 vaccines for Taiwan

More COVID-19 vaccines are on their way to Taiwan, with Foxconn and TSMC confirming over the weekend that contracts have been signed to procure vaccines for the island.

Foxconn and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC) both confirmed on Sunday that they have signed contracts to purchase COVID-19 vaccines on behalf of Taiwan.

In a statement to the Taiwan Stock Exchange, TSMC said it has acquired five million doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine and given them to the Taiwan Centers for Disease Control.

"TSMC donates five million doses of BNT162b2 vaccine for use to fight off the COVID-19 pandemic," the chipmaker said in a Taiwan Stock Exchange statement.

"This donation is an emergency donation made for the public welfare for material disasters relief.

Meanwhile, Foxconn chairman and founder Terry Gou said on Facebook that his company has signed the "relevant contracts" for purchasing COVID-19 vaccines for Taiwan.

In making that confirmation, Gou added that Beijing did not intervene nor provide guidance during the process to purchase the vaccines on Taiwan's behalf.

He did not provide details about which parties or vaccines are involved in those signed contracts.

There were reports last month that the Taiwanese government had recruited tech giants Foxconn and TSMC to purchase COVID-19 vaccines on its behalf. At the time, both companies reportedly said they were looking to purchase five million doses each.

Prior to Foxconn and TSMC being recruited to acquire vaccines, Taiwan had been struggling to secure vaccines due to geopolitical tensions. President Tsai Ing-wen had previously accused China of interfering in her government's attempt to buy vaccines from BioNTech, something that Beijing has strongly denied.  

So far, 1.24 million doses have been donated by Japan and another 3.25 million doses have been donated by the United States. 

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