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US bill targeting Chinese biotech firms WuXi AppTec, BGI hits delay

2024.02.02 18:14


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: U.S. and Chinese flags are seen on this illustration taken, January 30, 2023. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

By Karen Freifeld and Michael Martina

(Reuters) – A bill within the U.S. Congress that sparked a sell-off in shares of China’s WuXi AppTec hit a delay within the Senate this week, a Senate aide and three different sources stated on Friday.

The bill would prohibit federal companies from contracting with China’s BGI Group, MGI, Complete Genomics, WuXi AppTec, their subsidiaries and different biotechnology firms of concern. It would additionally cease the federal government from getting into into contracts with firms that use their tools or providers.

It despatched shares of Wuxi AppTec tumbling 21% in a single day.

The bill, sponsored by Democratic Senator Gary Peters, didn’t transfer out of committee this week, as anticipated. It will probably be thought of at a future date, stated a majority aide for the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, which Peters chairs.

The bill will not be anticipated to maneuver out of committee for at the least just a few weeks, stated one other congressional aide.

A companion bill proposed by Republican Congressman Mike Gallagher, chair of the House choose committee on China, accuses the businesses of aiding Beijing’s army.

No date has but been set to maneuver the House bill out of committee, that congressional aide stated.

The Chinese biotech firms pose a menace to how delicate American knowledge and private well being info may be accessed by the Chinese Communist Party, the Senate aide stated on Friday.

Shares of WuXi AppTec and WuXi Biologics (HK:) tumbled on Friday as investor fears grew over the draft laws targeting the China biotech giants.

WuXi AppTec, which supplies drug R&D and manufacturing providers, has denied any ties to China’s army and stated its enterprise doesn’t pose nationwide safety dangers to any nation.

WuXi AppTec stated final week that company-related content material in proposed U.S. laws on biosecurity will not be acceptable or correct. The firm is “closely watching” the event of the bill, it stated in a submitting to Shanghai bourse.

BGI Group stated final week that it helps defending private knowledge, however the laws “which will effectively drive BGI from the U.S. market will not accomplish this goal.” The firm added that within the U.S. it doesn’t accumulate affected person samples or have entry to private or genetic knowledge.

Units of BGI Group seem on a U.S. Department of Commerce export management checklist over allegations that they pose a “significant risk” to contributing to Chinese authorities surveillance.

Reuters additionally has reported that BGI was accumulating genetic knowledge from tens of millions of ladies for sweeping analysis on the traits of populations, and collaborates with China’s army.

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