World / Asia-Pacific

Prompt help offered by Chinese companies

By ZHAO YANRONG (China Daily) Updated: 2015-05-01 07:32

Chinese companies have been quick to provide efficient support in Nepal following Saturday's devastating earthquake that claimed thousands of lives.

China is the largest foreign investor in Nepal and nearly 100 Chinese companies are registered there.

Wang Feng, technology director at ZTE in Nepal, rushed into the systems control building at Ncell, one of the major local telecommunication operators, soon after the quake struck on Saturday.

Constant aftershocks followed the quake, causing serious damage to the country's telecommunication system. Nearly 50 percent of base stations in Katmandu, the capital, were out of action.

"We know how important the telecommunication system is to the country, particularly for work in rescuing people after an earthquake. Recovering the system means saving more lives," Wang said.

While the 34-year-old engineer was trying to repair the core network on the third floor, there was another strong aftershock. All the shelves and machines in the small operations room were shaking.

"My hands and legs were also shaking ... but I knew that I had to finish the repairs first," Wang said.

In the following three days, 65 ZTE engineers-nearly half of the company's employees in Nepal-worked at various signal stations. The company also arranged multiple shifts to monitor the system 24 hours a day.

Xu Lei, CEO of ZTE Nepal, said: "We were racing against time to save lives. Even though constant aftershocks at one time affected nearly 70 percent of all base stations, the company still managed to have 75 percent of the system working in three days."

Lars Klasson, vice-president of TeliaSonera, Ncell's mother company, emailed Xu, saying: "Thanks for all the efforts from your company. We appreciate all the support to Ncell and the country."

Shanghai Construction Group has been working for 18 months on a project to upgrade ring roads in Katmandu. After the quake struck, three workers from the company, operating a crane, forklift truck and excavator, helped four residents to escape from a collapsed building.

All of the company's 81 Nepali workers were sent home after the quake. Some of them who lost their families in the disaster took shelter at SCG's Katmandu base.

China's ambassador to Nepal, Wu Chuntai, said the prompt support from the Chinese government, companies and nongovernmental organizations demonstrates the true friendship between the two countries.

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