On November 26 and 27, residents in many parts of China took to the streets to join the unprecedented protests over the country’s stringent ‘zero-COVID’ measures. Again, China’s COVID PCR testing companies are now facing backlash for profiting off the country’s controversial ‘zero COVID’ policy.

According to the Chinese mouthpiece Global Times, Shenzhen Nucleus Gene Technology Co has been caught up in controversy over the past few days. The company was questioned when the Lanzhou city government in Gansu province named its testing subsidiary for inconsistent results last week.

In an announcement published on Friday, the Health Commission of Lanzhou stated that staff of the company’s local testing laboratory incorrectly counted many abnormal test results in a tally of negative results. 

According to Bloomberg News, a hashtag related to Nucleus Gene’s company has quickly gone viral. Anger has mounted over how testing companies profit from the pandemic. One poster commented with a post that read, “Umbrella makers should not be given the authority to decide when it rains.”

PCR testing has become routine, and Nucleus Gene is among many other test providers that have benefited financially. 

A number of testing companies have gone public this year. Jiangsu CoWin Biotech Co. reported a profit gain of 68% last quarter. 

According to industry publication OFweek, ten of the largest listed virus-testing companies saw a combined net profit of 16.3 billion yuan ($2.3 billion) as of June 30.

Despite record revenue, many people have trouble getting paid on time due to local governments’ financial pressure.

As Bloomberg News estimated, eight of the largest listed virus-testing companies saw a total increase in accounts receivable of 14.1 billion yuan as of June 30, up 73% from a year earlier.

In recent days, the Chinese government has found itself in hot water. The fire that killed at least ten people in the Chinese city of Urumqi on November 24 reportedly led to multiple protests across the country. 

According to Reuters, 4 million Urumqi residents have been placed under COVID lockdown and banned from leaving their homes for as long as 100 days.

After the fire in Urumqi broke out, many internet users suspected that residents could not escape in time because the building was partially locked down.

Sign up to receive our latest news!

By submitting this form, I agree to the terms.