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Top IT companies provide relief to earthquake-hit area

(Shanghai Daily)

16:49, April 22, 2013

TOP information technology firms, including Apple Inc and Samsung, announced today to donate more than 110 million yuan (US$17.5 million) for Ya'an city in Sichuan Province hit by a powerful earthquake.

Besides donations, firms have also adopted high technologies to support the region, from open person finder tools to find or provide victim information, free map and navigation services, free phone call, broadband and short message services and free IT devices and related services, Shanghai Daily learned today.

Samsung donated 60 million yuan while Apple donated 50 million yuan, the top IT firms said, after a magnitude-7 earthquake struck in the hills in Ya'an city in Southwest China.

"We are sad for what happened in Ya'an and we respected for the rescue in the region," Apple said in its Chinese Webpage.

Samsung will set up service centers providing free services in the region. Google Inc launched a Ya'an Personal Finder webpage (http//, which had also been used after the Boston Marathon explosions and earthquake in Japan.

It established a platform to help anyone in the local area to either look for people or provide information about someone you have seen. It had currently tracked more than 1,000 records.

Top Chinese dot-com firms, from Qihoo 360, Sina and Sohu also launched similar person finder platforms, which shared tech standard and data.

AutoNavi, China's biggest map service provider and iPhone map provider in the mainland, announced today to provide free map and navigation services to victims and rescue teams, who can get product serial numbers for free navigation product costing 50 yuan.

China Mobile, the country's biggest mobile carrier, said it had restored telecommunications services in the majority region in Ya'an city, where calling volume surged 12 times compared with usual time during the weekend. China Unicom also announced to provide free telecommunications services for incoming and outgoing calls in Ya'an. It won't charge roaming service fee for phones used in Ya'an by people such as rescue team and journalists until April 30.

Top Internet firms have announced to donate money after the magnitude-7 earthquake hit Sichuan.

Tencent, Alibaba, Baidu and NetEase announced to donate five million yuan each. Sina, Sohu, Dell, AutoNavi and other firms also announced to donate money.

Vancl, which sells apparels online, donated 20,000 windproof jackets and two million yuan in cash.

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