FRANKFURT (Reuters) – A BioNTech executive on Monday confirmed that the company is in discussions with Chinese authorities over regulatory approval of the German biotech firm’s COVID-19 vaccine for use by expatriates in China but the outcome was uncertain.

“We have seen some positive re-engagement, as has been reported. We confirm that we have been taking part in some discussions, which are very positive,” Chief Strategy Officer Ryan Richardson said in an analyst call.

He added it was too early to predict the extent or the timing of such an approval for foreigners working in China.

BioNTech shares rose on Friday after German Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced an agreement to let expatriates in China use the vaccine and he pressed for Beijing to allow the shot to be made freely available to Chinese citizens.

(Reporting by Ludwig Burger, editing by Kirsti Knolle)

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