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Time for a Change: Chinese Diaper Maker DaddyBaby Faces COVID-19 (A)
Chen, Ming-Jer; Yao, Bingjing (Krystal); Whittle, Mary Summers Case S-0343 / Published March 23, 2021 / 16 pages.
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Product Overview

In late January 2020, Fuqing city officials approached Bin Lin, CEO of diaper manufacturer DaddyBaby, with a request that came straight from China's central government: In the face of the COVID-19 crisis, could Lin refit his manufacturing facilities to make 800,000 masks a day? And could he do so within two weeks? The local province had a severe mask shortage, and the region's largest diaper maker had declined to help. From an ethical standpoint, Lin wanted to agree to the government's request—but he found himself grappling with a number of concerns. In the short term, there was the cost entailed by the proposed changes and the health risks to his workers. In the longer term, what would the shift mean for the business he and his family had worked so hard to build? Lin had invested in state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities, and the DaddyBaby brand was associated with innovative, high-quality products. China's booming diaper market was the biggest in the world and was fiercely competitive, especially at the high end. Beyond China, the company had established a solid presence in South Korea and Thailand as well. Would suddenly switching to mask manufacturing help or hurt his core business? What should he tell the city officials?


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  • Overview

    In late January 2020, Fuqing city officials approached Bin Lin, CEO of diaper manufacturer DaddyBaby, with a request that came straight from China's central government: In the face of the COVID-19 crisis, could Lin refit his manufacturing facilities to make 800,000 masks a day? And could he do so within two weeks? The local province had a severe mask shortage, and the region's largest diaper maker had declined to help. From an ethical standpoint, Lin wanted to agree to the government's request—but he found himself grappling with a number of concerns. In the short term, there was the cost entailed by the proposed changes and the health risks to his workers. In the longer term, what would the shift mean for the business he and his family had worked so hard to build? Lin had invested in state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities, and the DaddyBaby brand was associated with innovative, high-quality products. China's booming diaper market was the biggest in the world and was fiercely competitive, especially at the high end. Beyond China, the company had established a solid presence in South Korea and Thailand as well. Would suddenly switching to mask manufacturing help or hurt his core business? What should he tell the city officials?

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