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Africans Worry About Quality of Donated Chinese COVID-19 Aid Following Reports of Defective Masks in Europe

Earlier this week I wrote a story about the reputational risks associated with China’s so-called “Mask Diplomacy” initiative where it’s donating millions of PPE to countries around the world. The basic premise of the story is that if everything goes well, then China wins, but if defective and faulty masks make their way to frontline healthcare workers in the US and Europe, then the whole venture could backfire.

Boy, did that story touch a nerve on both LinkedIn and later on YouTube following an interview I did with Francois Picard on FRANCE 24. The Chinese on the one side feel that outsiders are “ungrateful” to the Chinese producing all these masks. Foreigners feel similarly passionate about China’s reputation for making low-quality, counterfeit goods.

This tweet by Donald Kikorir to his 700,000+ followers highlights the growing fear in Africa that China’s donations of COVID-19 aid are defective — evidence of that reputational risk I mentioned in my column.

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