According to First Financial, Beijing officials detained 17 workers in Jinzhun Medical Laboratory for mishandling test samples.
Bejing believes the blunder has resulted in improper COVID-19 detection that contributed to the recent flare-up.
Officials said the lab workers were suspected of violating the diluting procedures to seek illegal economic benefits.
Li Ang, an official with the Beijing Municipal Health Commission, said at a press conference that this affected the accuracy of the test results. In addition, Li Ang said it impeded efforts to detect positive cases and risked causing further transmission.
Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau Pan Xuhong said that 17 people at the lab, including legal representative Wang Moumou, 43, have been arrested.
According to the National Enterprise Credit Information Publicity System, Beijing Jinzhun Medical Laboratory was founded on May 28, 2019, with a registered capital of 10 million yuan, nearly 1.5 million dollars.
The company’s profile reveals that Wang Xuegang is its legal representative. However, it is unclear if Wang Xuegang and Wang Moumou, the person under investigation, were the same people.
Wang Xuegang, however, holds positions in 14 companies. He has also been the director of A-share listed biotech firm Acrobiosystems Company, also known as Beijing Biopsis Biotechnology, since 2017. It provides critical biological reagent products and technical services for drug research and development, such as recombinant proteins.
According to China-Singapore Jingwei, an employee from the company said Wang Xuegang is a director of the company but does not hold any shares in the company and does not receive any salary.
Biopsis’ shares fell marginally at the beginning of the noon market on May 27 and then drifted downward. It decreased 2.81% to 131.65 yuan, about 19 dollars per share.
It’s the second time Beijing investigated a COVID-19 testing agency for violating regulations. According to China News, on May 20, the Beijing Pu Shi Medical Laboratory had its license revoked by the Beijing Fangshan District Health Commission.
Mass testing has become the nexus of China’s strict zero-COVID pandemic approach. Such intense testing demands assistance from a slew of commercial diagnostic companies.