China expands untrustworthy enterprise list to include food, medical products makers

China has decided to put food and medical products makers that violate government rules and churn out substandard products on a list of “untrustworthy enterprises”.

In particular, companies that produce or sell vaccines illegally willbe named and penalized.

The Chinese government has recently passed a series of measures aimed at better managing untrustworthy enterprises. Compared with the previous version of the regulations, which took effect in 2015, the new measures list specific conditions under which companies would be enlisted.

For example, food companies that don’t obtain the required food operation and production licenses, or use non-approved or hazardous substances in their products, or does not pass food quarantine standards will be placed on the list.

For medicine makers, companies that produce or sell counterfeit medicine or non-approved medicine, or illegally produce medicines that have strict regulatory requirements like vaccines, or those that don’t obtain relevant certificates, will be put on the list too.

China will put companies that produce, sell, use or lease special equipment that does not have a production certificate, has been discarded as useless, or that has been eliminated under government orders into the untrustworthy list.

The new measures not only broaden the range of conduct that will be clarified by regulators, but also make more detailed explanations compared with previous measures. In the 2015 version of the law, the measures only noted that companies which make fake advertisements about their products related to consumers’ health will be named as untrustworthy enterprises.

The new measures also noted that companies featuring on the untrustworthy list will face penalties ranging from fines to revocation of business licenses.

The measures were also launched after the government recently exposed a number of cases in which people sell fake coronavirus vaccines to reap profits. For example, several vendors were revealed as having used physiological saline to produce fake coronavirus vaccines in August 2020.