Chinese firms in Ukraine halt operations, take measures to ensure workers’ safety
Published: Feb 24, 2022 08:27 PM
A view of Kiev, Ukraine Photo: Unsplash

A view of Kiev, Ukraine Photo: Unsplash

Click here to stay tuned with our live updates on Ukraine tensions.

Many Chinese businesses in Ukraine have moved swiftly to cope with a rapidly fluid security situation in the country, with some halting operations, cancelling orders and taking various measures to ensure safety of employees and projects, sources told the Global Times on Thursday.

Despite the escalating situation in Ukraine, the sources with several Chinese companies that operate in the country said that there had been no safety incidents involving their employees or damages on their facilities in the country.

State-owned energy construction company Power China told the Global Times on Thursday that its project team in the country has halted operations, and all the staffers have now assembled in designated areas.

"All our staffers remain safe," a source with Power China said, noting that the team is waiting for further notice from the Chinese Embassy. 

With the further deterioration of the security situation in Ukraine, Power China received a notice from the Chinese Embassy telling the staff to keep calm and not to travel unless necessary.

On Thursday, a spokesperson for the Chinese Embassy to Ukraine said that Chinese nationals in the country were facing growing security challenges, but there were no panic wave among the roughly 6,000 Chinese nationals living in the country. 

Highlighting the rapid escalation, Power China said just a day ago that the situation was relatively stable, and the lives and work of their employees had not been affected, though its team in Ochakiv in southern Ukraine stocked up basic daily necessities that are enough for two months.

In response to the fast escalation of the situation, some companies have been told to activate emergency plans, the Global Times learned.

A source at Xinjiang Beiken Energy Engineering, a large energy infrastructure company headquartered in Karamay, Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, told the Global Times on Thursday that some of its staffers in Kiev were awakened by explosions in the early morning on Thursday.

In response to the escalating situation, the company launched safety drill to train staffers on how to evacuate to safe areas in case of an emergency.

Xinjiang Beiken has 99 workers in Ukraine, and most of them are Chinese citizens. Despite the tension, Chinese employees remained calm and none of them have asked to return to China, the source with the company told the Global Times.

"Now the targets are all military targets and may not pose a substantial threat to civilians," the source said.

Meanwhile, after Ukraine's air traffic agency closed its airspace for civilian flights, some logistics hurdles emerged. Spare parts that were meant to be delivered by a cargo flight on the coming Sunday have been canceled, according to the source.

"We are now using alternative transportation - the China-Europe freight train, which is still okay at the moment," the source said, noting that the goods, if nothing unexpected happens, may arrive in Ukraine in about half a month.

The company provides comprehensive engineering and technical services such as drilling in Ukraine. While ensuring the smooth operation of its business, the company has stocked up on daily necessities in accordance with advice from the Chinese Embassy.

The Chinese Embassy warned earlier on Thursday that the security risks have risen sharply and urged Chinese companies and personnel in the country to stay at home. It is suggested that Chinese citizens to affix Chinese flag on their vehicles, the Embassy said.