AFRY in China is back in business
After months of quarantine and other actions, the Chinese government reports a big decrease in new cases and life is finally getting back to normal. We talked to Huizi Gao, Head of AFRY Shanghai about the situation in the country.
How is the general situation in China?
In general the situation in China is very good. Life is getting back to normal. People are very confident because the shutdown has shown very positive results in cutting down the virus spread. Now the number of existing patients are reduced heavily each day. The restaurants, museums, offices and factories are open. Normal and busy life is resumed.
How is the atmosphere in the offices?
AFRY has offices in Shanghai, Beijing, Chengdu and Jinan with different business focus in each office. During the past weeks, we have had various methods to mitigate the health risk – working from home, adjusted health routines at offices, travel restrictions and so on – all were well accepted by our employees.
During February, almost everyone worked from home. The remote working worked out better than we expected from the beginning. I think that keeping good communication between line managers and employees was the key to success. Now in March, almost everyone is back at the office.
Do you see any positive trends or new business opportunities for AFRY in China now that the situation has improved?
In the past weeks, we have done a lot to mitigate economic risks – shifting work to other offices and increased sales activities since March. With work resumed, business is back to usual.
During the country shutdown, certain industries were more vulnerable than others, especially production related industries, simply because workers couldn’t get back to work. We believe that this impact will encourage these industries to implement more IT solutions. Industry 4.0 may come earlier than we assumed before. There will be a burst of need of digital solutions in general.
What do you think about the situation in the upcoming weeks?
We hope that the situation in China will keep improving. Life should be back to normal. We expect very few cases of COVID-19 and other countries to lift travel bans towards China.
On the other hand, people in China are very concerned about the suffering people in other countries and are willing to support as much as we could.