A ping-pong manufacturer is making face masks for health workers


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CGTN speaks with Richard Lee, President of Joola, a ping-pong manufacturer, about the company shifting to face mask production for people in the U.S. to help fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. His company makes and sells table tennis equipment worldwide.

But soon after the COVID-19 outbreak, their factories were temporarily closed in China. The ping-pong business, like much of the world economy, was put on hold.

Lee’s sister, who is an anesthesiologist, asked him for help in producing personal protective equipment in March. She said that some of her friends working on the front lines they couldn’t get masks.

He leveraged his sources and supply chains in Shenzhen, China and found a factory to make masks. But it wasn’t as simple as making ping-pong gear as all face masks need FDA approval in the U.S.

Now they are producing and selling approved masks in the U.S. through their subsidiary, Joola Medical. They have imported about a half-million masks so far, and plan to import three million by the end of April.

Lee predicts that in the years come, wearing a mask will be as common in the U.S. as it is in Asia. Lee said, “wearing a face mask will definitely help save lives, in my opinion. Definitely social distancing hand-washing as well as wearing a face mask. All three of these combined is what we see in Asia that has been successful in slowing down COVID-19.”