The companies making billions from COVID-19

Business & Technology

The global pandemic has been a boon to China’s COVID testing companies.

This is a multibillion-dollar product! Image via iHealth Labs/Andon Health.

The pandemic and the current COVID-19 emergency in China’s cities is a misery for most, but there are some for whom it has been a windfall, such as the owners of what the Chinese internet is calling “demon stocks” (妖股 yāogǔ). These are companies whose shares are bucking market trends and excelling despite the tough global environment. Many of them are COVID-19 testing companies.

Andon Health 九安医疗 is a producer of electronic health products and medical hardware, most notably rapid coronavirus antigen test kits for use at home. These are produced by the company’s California-based subsidiary iHealth Labs, founded in 2010, currently with 70 employees. Andon Health yesterday announced estimated net profits for the first quarter of 14-16 billion yuan ($2.19-2.51 billion), a whopping year-on-year increase of 36,707% to 41,965%.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, iHealth Labs produced blood-pressure monitors and thermometers, and consistently failed to turn any profit until the start of 2021. But now the company is a full-blooded demon stock:

Business in the morning.

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Andon Health is not alone in raking in billions. The COVID-19 Detection Index on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange increased by 16.04% in the past six months, and the net profits of 20 companies on the index doubled in 2021, including these demon stocks:

  • Daan Gene 达安基因, a producer of in vitro diagnostic (IVD) test kits, had net profits of 3.61 billion yuan ($566.74 million), a year-on-year increase of 47.74%.
  • Beijing Wantai Biological 万泰生物, a producer of rapid antigen test products, had net profits of 2.02 billion yuan ($315.55 million), a year-on-year increase of 198.59%.
  • Hybribio 广东凯普生物科技股份有限公司, a producer of nucleic acid detection kits, had net profits of 852 million yuan ($133.75 million), a year-on-year increase of 134.97%.

The waves of COVID-19 lockdowns will have a significant impact on China’s economy and growth prospects for the year, but the listed companies working on COVID-19 testing products have reaped huge profits from across the world.