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Coronavirus

SoftBank will supply 300m masks a month to Japan: CEO Son

Gear will be produced in China by automaker BYD

Employees work on a production line of surgical masks for export, at a railway equipment manufacturing company in Jiangxi province, China. Many manufacturers in the country have retooled to produce the protective face covers. Photo courtesy of the China Daily.   © Reuters

NEW YORK -- SoftBank Group will provide Japan with 300 million protective masks a month at cost, starting next month, company President Masayoshi Son announced on Twitter on Saturday night.

The masks will be produced by Chinese automaker BYD, which says it has quickly geared up to become one of the largest producer of the protective gear in the world. BYD will dedicate lines exclusively for SoftBank.

Son said SoftBank will work with the Japanese government to distribute the masks first to medical institutions and then to the general public. Of the total, 100 million masks will be of the highest level N95 quality, while the remaining 200 million masks will be appropriate for general surgical use.

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