A conspiracy theory Facebook post claims that the lab in Wuhan is owned by pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), which also owns Pfizer, the first drug company to receive emergency authorization for a COVID-19 vaccine. We did a Fact Check and found that the claim is False.
A long text post on Facebook peddles the conspiracy theory that the Chinese lab from where the novel Coronavirus may have leaked is actually owned by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). GSK also owns Pfizer, the company that is making COVID19 vaccines.
An archived version of the post can be seen here.
Who owns Wuhan Institute of Virology?
Wuhan Institute of Virology is a part of Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and is controlled by China’s State Council, one of the country’s main government bodies.
In 2019, a CAS member wrote an open letter maintaining that it was run or financed by the Chinese government. As per the letter, over the past 40 years, half of its income has come directly from central-government investment; the rest has been from competitive funding or technology transfer.
Does GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) own Pfizer?
GSK is a British pharmaceutical company. Pfizer is an US company. Both are seperate companies and are public listed entities. Pfizer currently has 69% public ownership with the top shareholder being the Vanguard Group.
GSK and Pfizer has formed joint venture for some of their business divisions in 2018. But that venture doesn’t involve merging or swapping ownership.
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