Jiangsu Yuwell fined for price gouging amid COVID resurgence

Ding Yining
The major Chinese medical device operator was slapped with penalties of 2.7 million yuan (US$380,281) for price gouging by the market watchdog.
Ding Yining

One major Chinese medical device operator was slapped with penalties for price gouging amid the COVID resurgence by the market watchdog in neighboring Jiangsu Province.

Jiangsu Yuwell Medical Equipment & Supply Co Ltd was fined 2.7 million yuan (US$380,281) over price abnormalities for its fingertip oximeters since late December.

At that time, oximeters at pharmacies and online shopping sites in China quickly sold out after medical experts suggested regular checks of oxygen saturation as a key means to decide health status of COVID patients.

Sharp price hikes for several popular models of Yuwell were recorded, and drew public criticism.

Zhenjiang City's market administration bureau opened an investigation against Yuwell on January 17 and found that average selling price of one particular model of fingertip pulse oximeter jumped 131 percent in December from a month ago.

The average production cost added 47 percent in December but the selling price of the product of its affiliate, Yuwell Network Technology Co Ltd, jumped from 100 yuan per unit to 231.78 yuan per unit, it found.

"The rapid price increase of sales prices clearly exceeded the bump in cost over the same period," the Zhenjiang market administration said in a notice.

The market watchdog convened on January 30 and urged the company to rectify the price abnormalities while imposing the fine.

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