China’s firms capable of helping India’s networks and infrastructure amid COVID-19

By GT staff reporters Source:Global Times Published: 2020/3/26 22:01:59

A disaster response force team member sprays disinfectant during a public curfew at the old city of Hyderabad, India, March 22, 2020. (Stringer/Xinhua)

China's companies are capable of helping the improvement of India's networks and building makeshift hospitals to contribute to the South Asian country's fight against the coronavirus, industry insiders said, as India's telecom networks come under pressure from 1.3 billion people being forced to stay inside.

The comment came as global video streaming platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video announced they would reduce traffic on telecommunications networks to ease network congestion.

Although this is an expedient measure amid the surge of network demand, India should take the opportunity to ponder whether to adopt China's telecommunications equipment in its 5G construction, Fu Liang, a Beijing-based industry analyst, told the Global Times on Thursday.

"China's telecommunications equipment has leading performance in the world and Chinese companies are capable of serving a large country whose population is similar to China's," Fu said.

Last December, India said the country would allow all telecommunications vendors to participate in its trials for 5G networks, including Chinese telecom giant Huawei.

During COVID-19, Huawei has donated Wi-Fi 6 network equipment to 10 temporary hospital facilities in Italy to allow communication with other healthcare bodies.

Apart from network infrastructure, Chinese companies operating in the Indian market are able to construct emergency hospitals such as the Huoshenshan hospital in Wuhan or quarantine sites such as Fang Cang makeshift hospital for quarantine of suspected cases, a Chinese businessman in India told the Global Times on Thursday.

China's construction giant CSCEC alone has three sub companies in India, the source said, noting that "the Indian side has to require it first, while coordinating and offering ready finance for such big projects."

If Chinese companies really begin such endeavors in India, there are practical issues to be considered, according to the source. "Foremost, there is a lack of rudimentary Chinese laborers and India's regulation to quarantine Chinese goods for 14 days at sea could mean low efficiency in any such construction," he said.

Recently, China Railway Construction Corp built an emergency specialty field hospital in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, with 100 beds, two surgery rooms and an ICU.

China will also help Pakistan to build a temporary quarantine hospital, a Chinese official said in Beijing on Thursday.

Besides, Chinese companies operating in India have donated medical supplies to help the fight against the coronavirus. Xiaomi has sent hundreds of thousands of N95 face masks and protective suits to India, and will also donate hazmat suits for doctors.

Another Chinese smartphone maker, Vivo India, on Wednesday donated over 100,000 masks and 5,000 N95 masks to Maharashtra, a city in India that has been badly hit by COVID-19.

Vivo India said it has also applied for 1 million masks from its China headquarters, adding that the first batch of 160,000 masks has already arrived and will be firstly given to employees and agents of Vivo India.

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