Foreign multinationals share weal and woe with China in COVID-19 fight

BEIJING, Oct. 29 (Xinhua) -- In China's fight against the COVID-19 epidemic, multinational corporations (MNC) have pitched in by not only manifesting full confidence in the country's economic prospect but also putting their weight behind rescue operations.

A book titled MNC's Action in Fighting COVID-19 Together with China, which was launched Thursday, chronicles reflections of such enterprises and highlights their commitment to helping the country amid epidemic woes.

Published by Social Sciences Academic Press (China), the book draws on experiences of multinationals to offer an insight into better coping with sudden and severe emergencies like the COVID-19 epidemic.

After the novel coronavirus epidemic befell, several foreign multinationals operating in China for years swung into rescue action. Volkswagen Group China and its joint ventures, for instance, donated 120 million yuan (about 17.84 million U.S. dollars) to hospitals across Hubei and other provinces in the country.

Other companies such as Schneider Electric supplied electrical equipment to Huoshenshan Hospital and Leishenshan Hospital, which were swiftly built for the treatment of COVID-19 patients.

While making monetary and material donations, overseas multinationals stood together with their Chinese partners in solidarity against the crisis.

"For the supply chain industry, what is tested during the epidemic is the ability of enterprise resource allocation and emergency organization; what is tested after the epidemic is the speed of self-rescue and the ability of continuous operations," John Xu, senior vice president of a U.S.-based logistics firm Prologis (China), wrote in his article published in the book.

Winnie Dong, vice president of ABB (China) Ltd., said China's effective containment measures contributed to the company's trend-bucking growth.

Despite the shock of the epidemic, the company's Q3 orders in China, its second-largest market, expanded 8 percent year on year, Dong said.

Xie Yanqi, vice president of SAP Greater China, a Germany-based corporate management company, said she was impressed by China's economic vitality and resilience, and in particular its momentum for sustained development.

Speaking at the book launch, Xie commended China's efforts to nurture the digital economy as a new driver of the country's post-epidemic growth.

A raft of policies rolled out by the Chinese government to promote the development of the digital economy showcased the country's innovation in macro-control, Xie added.

"In the face of COVID-19, we see more opportunities brought by the crisis," said Jerry Guo, vice president of Qualcomm Wireless Communication Technologies (China) Ltd.

According to Guo, the development of 5G applications, especially those prompted by the epidemic, will counter the adverse impact of COVID-19 to a great extent.

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