A blockchain-based company in China, the first to be given support through state funding, has been called out by the state for its operations. Tus Data Asset (TDA) was distributing medical supplies to different countries around the world as everyone tries to curtail the advance of the coronavirus, but the country’s Ministry of Commerce stepped in to take a closer look. What it found didn’t make the government agency happy, resulting in a decision to blacklist the company. According to the Global Times, TDA was accused of selling products of inferior quality that were damaging the country’s global image.
Beijing-based Tus Data Asset, blacklisted by the Ministry of Commerce for exporting problematic masks and tarnishing the national image, apologized on Tuesday for “not supervising a third-party supplier well.” The firm is the first blockchain tech firm controlled by state capital pic.twitter.com/RG7WelzAK2
— Global Times (@globaltimesnews) April 15, 2020
TDA didn’t get its start as a medical equipment supply company. It was founded to provide blockchain solutions for China’s Communist Party, but began its side business this past March. Ostensibly, it would have been an entrepreneurial move to capitalize on the outbreak of COVID-19, but, whether its intentions were noble or revenue-driven, the company apparently didn’t perform enough due diligence on the products it was offering.
It isn’t clear how many or what kind of products may have been shipped or who might have been the recipient. However, many customers overseas began to return their purchases to China because of the low quality, resulting in the Ministry of Commerce’s decision to call out the company. TDA isn’t alone, either.
Aibaoda Technology, based in Shenzhen, China, was busy selling microphones, earphones and other similar technology before the coronavirus pandemic hit. Like TDA, it decided to branch out its business efforts and began selling medical masks to international customers that it would purchase from local suppliers. Aibaoda has also been placed on the blacklist, apparently for the same reason.
A company spokesperson tried to defend Aibaoda’s actions, dismissing its responsibility. The individual told the South China Morning Post, “We started to export masks not long ago… we were not exporting any medical supplies other than masks. We don’t manufacture masks; we just bought the masks from somewhere else and exported them.”
China hasn’t always enjoyed a strong reputation as a source of high-quality products. Still, it has consistently managed to find distribution channels throughout the world, and the coronavirus led to an uptick in sales. Countries like Spain, the U.S., Turkey and others were turning to China for products that could be used during the current pandemic, and most are regretting that decision.
Spain had purchased COVID-19 test kits from China, but quit using them after determining that they weren’t accurate. Turkey discovered the same results with test kits it had ordered from the country, and the Czech Republic found that 80% of 300,000 test kits were incapable of providing proper results.
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