China Has Spent Over $18.8 Billion on COVID-19 Vaccines

By Jessica Mao
Jessica Mao
Jessica Mao
Jessica Mao is a writer for The Epoch Times with a focus on China-related topics. She began writing for the Chinese-language edition in 2009.
April 14, 2022 Updated: April 14, 2022

The National Healthcare Security Administration of the Chinese Communist Party recently announced that the total cost of China’s COVID-19 virus (CCP virus) vaccine has reached more than 120 billion yuan (about $18.8 billion). The recent financial reports disclosed by Chinese COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers show that they have made a lot of money.

Chinese authorities stated a few days ago that as of March 31, 2022, China had administered a total of 3.27 billion doses of the COVID-19 vaccines, at a cost of more than 120 billion yuan (about $18.8 billion). The total number of people vaccinated reached 1.278 billion, covering 90.63 percent of the country’s population.

Who shared the pieces of this more than 120 billion yuan pie?

Sinovac Biotech May Have Earned $90+ Billion Last Year

In 2021, the profits of China’s domestic COVID-19 vaccine companies have generally surged. Among them, Beijing’s Sinovac Biotech Ltd. may have earned more than 90 billion yuan (about $14.1 billion).

On March 31, 2022, the 2021 financial report released by Hong Kong-listed China Sino Biopharmaceutical Limited (Sino Biopharm for short), which has a 15 percent stake in Sinovac, showed that the profit attributable to owners of the parent company was 14.61 billion yuan (about $2.297 billion), a year-on-year increase of 427.2 percent.

Compared with the net profit of 2.77 billion yuan (about $435 million) in 2020 and the net profit growth rate of 0.3 percent, the performance of Sino Biopharm in 2021 can be described as extraordinary.

Sino Biopharm stated in its financial report that the outstanding performance of individual associates and joint ventures brought a total of about 13.63 billion yuan (about $2.14 billion) to the profit contribution of Sino Biopharm in 2021.

Although Sino Biopharm did not disclose specific figures for its associates, the financial report said that Sinovac, in which the group holds a 15.03 percent stake, had “the most brilliant performance.”

If profit is calculated based on the above figures, Sinovac’s net profit in 2021 is about 90.7 billion yuan (about $14.25 billion).

Sinovac’s Revenue and Profits Also Surged

According to the financial report, in the six months ending June 30, 2021, Sinovac had sales of $11 billion, a year-on-year increase of 162 fold, and a net profit of $8.6 billion.

Sinovac did not separately disclose its revenue from the COVID-19 vaccines; but the earnings report said the increase in revenue was due to higher sales of its CoronaVac, an inactivated COVID-19 vaccine.

CoronaVac is one of the most administered COVID-19 vaccines in mainland China.

Many COVID-19 Vaccine Companies Show Explosive Growth

The CCP’s extreme pandemic control policy has made people miserable, but the market size of the COVID-19 vaccine has soared, and the performance of related listed companies has exploded.

These listed companies include CanSino Biological Co., Ltd., Chongqing Zhifei Biological Products Co., Ltd., and Shenzhen Kangtai Biological Products Co., Ltd.

All three companies have disclosed their performance in 2021.

Adenovirus vector vaccine supplier CanSino Biologics achieved revenues of 4.3 billion yuan (about $676 million) in 2021, a 172 fold year-on-year increase. This is the company’s first turnaround since 2018. In its financial report, CanSino attributed the explosive revenue growth to the commercialization of its recombinant adenovirus type-5 vectored COVID-19 vaccine.

The three co-founders of CanSino Bio have also become billionaires: chief scientist Zhu Tao (worth $1.3 billion), senior deputy CEO Qiu Dongxu (worth $1.2 billion), and founder and senior deputy CEO Mao Huihua (worth $1 billion).

Zhifei Bio is China’s first recombinant COVID-19 vaccine manufacturer. According to the performance report, Zhifei Bio’s revenue in 2021 was 30.64 billion yuan (about $4.81 billion), a year-on-year increase of 101.68 percent; its net profit was 10.2 billion yuan (about $1.6 billion), a year-on-year increase of 208.88 percent.

Kangtai Bio produces both recombinant adenovirus vectored and inactivated vaccines. The performance forecast shows that the company is expected to achieve a net profit of 1.2 billion to 1.4 billion yuan (about $189 million to $220 million), compared with 679 million yuan (about $107 million) in the same period last year, an increase of 77-106 percent over the same period in the previous year.

China’s Vaccine Priced as High as 200 Yuan Per Dose

China’s COVID-19 vaccine was once priced as high as 200 yuan (about $31) per dose.

On Dec. 15, 2020, the Jiangsu Provincial Pharmaceutical (Medical Consumables) Sunshine Procurement and Comprehensive Supervision Platform issued a notice about the government procurement results of COVID-19 vaccines, showing that Sinovac and Beijing Biological won the bid, and the price of the winning products was 200 yuan per dose.

The COVID-19 vaccine needs to be administered in 2 doses, the price of the vaccine is 200 yuan per dose, bringing the total cost to 400 yuan (about $62) per person. In addition, a vaccination service fee of 28 yuan (about $4.40) per dose is charged.

Jessica Mao
Jessica Mao is a writer for The Epoch Times with a focus on China-related topics. She began writing for the Chinese-language edition in 2009.