After announcing that it operates the world’s largest mass-production face mask plant in mid-March, Chinese electronic vehicle (EV) manufacturer BYD has reached a deal with Japanese investment giant SoftBank to supply 300 million face masks to Japan every month starting in May.
The Warren Buffett-backed company adapted some of its production capacity to produce face masks since early February to help combat the novel coronavirus outbreak and now produces 15 million face masks a day.
The demand for personal protective and medical equipment soared worldwide as the COVID-19 virus spread, heaping pressure on China’s manufacturing sector, which already made half of the world’s face masks in 2019.
To help the cause and satisfy demand, more than 3,000 companies, including 700 technology firms, have added “face masks, protective suits, sanitizers, and other medical gear” to their production profile since the beginning of 2020, aided by subsidies from the government.
Gree Electric, the world’s largest residential air-conditioner maker, began producing and selling N95 face masks in early March. The Chinese home appliance giant now generates a daily output of 500,000 face masks, as chairwomen Dong Mingzhu told CCTV in an interview.
In addition, smartphone brands OPPO and Vivo, real estate company Country Garden, electrical appliance manufacturer Midea, iPhone assembler Foxconn, oil and gas enterprise Sinopec, car maker Baojun Automotive and GAC Group, along with other companies, have all joined together to produce face masks, resulting in a tenfold increase in production capacity.