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Apple gives $1m to quake victims

By Ma Si | China Daily | Updated: 2017-08-24 07:15

Blue chip tech brands organize relief program for Jiuzhaigou county

Blue chip brands are donating millions of yuan to help communities in Sichuan province shattered by a 7.0-magnitude earthquake.

Apple Inc, the United States-based smartphone, tablet and PC giant, has agreed to put 7 million yuan ($1.05 million) into local relief efforts in Jiuzhaigou.

The famous tourist destination suffered massive damage as tremors ripped through the region on Aug 8.

In a statement, Apple pointed out that the company had been operating in Sichuan for years. It employs hundreds of staff there. Thousands more work for Apple's local suppliers.

"We were deeply saddened by the devastating earthquake and we want to help in local relief efforts," Apple stated.

"We plan to contribute 7 million yuan to support the life-saving work that is being done by China Foundation For Poverty Alleviation," Apple went on. "They support survivors and help them to rebuild homes and schools."

On Aug 11, the foundation issued a statement, pointing out that Apple's donation was the largest it had received for survivors of Jiuzhaigou.

Up to 25 people died as a result of the earthquake while 525 residents were injured.

Seismic convulsions shattered roads and houses, bringing down power cables and closing factories in 11 townships in Pingwu, a neighboring county in Mianyang, Sichuan province.

Crops and forests were also destroyed with the economic cost in Pingwu spiraling to more than 110 million yuan, according to the Sichuan provincial government information office.

Apple's donation came after Tencent Holdings Ltd promised 10 million yuan to help the devastated area.

The Chinese e-commerce juggernaut stressed in a statement that the money would be used to set up a charity to help provide emergency relief, reconstruction work and public education on how to deal with natural disasters.

Other major Chinese companies have also moved swiftly to offer support and funding. Inc, the country's second largest e-commerce website, has channeled resources into Jiuzhaigou.

The first batch of trucks loaded with food and water arrived three days after the earthquake, which struck Jiuzhaigou at 9.19 pm on Aug 8 across a 20-kilometer area.

More than 3,000 aftershocks hampered rescue efforts, while up to 60,000 tourists and migrant workers were evacuated from the region less than 24 hours after the tragedy, local government officials confirmed.

Popular online travel agencies, such as Ctrip and Qunar, also announced that tourists who had booked trips to Jiuzhaigou ahead of Aug 31 could cancel and receive refunds.

Communication in the country was also severely disrupted with 259 cellphone towers put out of service.

The big three telecom carriers, China Mobile Communications Corp, China United Network Communications Group Co and China Telecom Corp Ltd, rushed out more than 1,000 workers to repair the networks.

China Mobile even rolled out a drone-based mobile phone station to improve the telecom signals so that people could contact relatives and friends.

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