drug store in the Inner Mongolian capital of Hohhot is in trouble with authorities after raising prices on this week’s hottest commodity in China.
On January 21, the store had been selling medical face masks for just 19.8 yuan ($2.85). However, the following day, as the Wuhan virus outbreak started to stir panic across China, the items had risen in price to 48 yuan ($6.92).
The store’s tactics were exposed by netizens, leading to the local market supervision bureau looking into the matter. At present, authorities are determining how to punish the store. As you’d expect, netizens are calling on officials to come down hard on the shop.
Face masks have become an essential piece of apparel in China this week (at least for most) to fend off the SARS-like virus which is spread person-to-person via the respiratory system. In view of that fact, the Chinese government has warned against any kind of price gouging.
Chinese e-commerce sites have received that message loud and clear with Alibaba’s Taobao ordering vendors to sell face masks at reasonable prices.