2019 Q4 – Prepare your business for holidays, vacations and commercial festivals in China
For the last quarter of 2019 and the Chinese Independence Day, which is China’s most significant national holiday, we have created a brief list of events and holidays, as well as answers to some frequently asked questions- on which dates the Chinese economy is at an almost shut-down, how many days off Chinese employees are entitled to, and how this affects your supply chain and the roads and hotels across China.
Mid-Autumn Festival– September 13th, 2019 (Zhōngqiūjié, 中秋节) is the second grandest festival in China after the Chinese New Year. The day is also known as the Moon Festival, as at that time of the year the moon is at its roundest and brightest, symbolizing togetherness and reunion in Chinese culture. Today, the holiday is celebrated by eating “moon cake”, or yuebing (月饼), the sweet pastry made from wheat or rice flour and sugar you can find in every city in China during September. Most Chinese go in a three-day vacation, from September 13th to September 15th.
Independence Day, China’s National Holiday – October 1st – 7th, 2019 (Guóqìngjié, 国庆节), is celebrated every year on October 1, and marks the People’s Republic of China Independence Day in 1949. This festive day is held all over China and the Chinese are taking a 7-day vacation, also called the “Golden Week” in which many businesses in China are closed for the holiday and hotel prices soar.
Most factories and companies in China work 7 days a week throughout the year, and the “golden week” that occurs twice a year is a concentrated vacation and a rare period in which the business world in China stops by.
The last quarter of the Chinese business world revolves around the national holiday, which is Chinese Independence Day. Every year, it is amazing to see how a whole nation goes silent in business, a phenomenon unique to the international business world.
For companies doing business in China, a logistic plan ahead is crucial. Here are some tips to help you prepare and avoid delays, cancellations (and frustration):
Preparing your Supply Chain for Chinese New Year (CNY)
- Check carefully all stages of production, shipping and handling of your product against the China New Year calendar.
- Increase orders: ordering sufficient inventory for the first quarter is highly recommended. By ensuring adequate inventory, any factory closing or delay back to full production after the holiday will have minimal impact on your supply chain.
- Pre-order: place production orders on a much more informed basis – sales forecast and lead-time to ensure shipment before the holiday.
- Make a reservation one week earlier on flight or shipping schedule, especially for exporting from China.
Keep in mind that from late January through mid-February arrival and delivery times of shipments are a bet at best.
- Even an order confirmation is not always a guarantee, as vendors make overbooking to ensure full capacity so each container is completely filled.
Immediately after the holiday:
- Re-check production schedules: workforce fallout during CNY and delays in getting back to full production may temporarily affect standard production time.
- Delivery: re-check delivery times, and add 3-4 weeks to your first booking after the holiday.
Unlike the first “Golden Week” that takes place on Chinese New Year in February, where it is common to spend time with family, Chinese favorite pastime on their Independence Day is to travel around the country. The millions of Chinese traveling this week make the movement within China almost impossible. Flight tickets, trains and buses are sold out in no time, tourist sites are packed to a halt, and hotel prices are rising. So in general, it is not advisable to get into China this week.
Even if you are not in China, we recommend that you welcome employees, partners and colleagues in China, as follows:
- Happy Independence Day – guó qìng jié kuài lè 国庆节 快乐
- Enjoyable independence holiday – huān dù guó qìng 欢度 国庆
Single’s Day – November 11th – Chinese Single’s Day was founded in the 1990s by college students to celebrate being young and single, and it developed into a major shopping event when Alibaba began to encourage bachelors to buy luxury items and gifts for themselves. On this day shopping sites, and especially Chinese ones, are offering special deals and discounts so that in recent years it has become the world’s biggest shopping holiday.
Businesses interested in taking part in this mass shopping day need to plan ahead. In previous years, products had to arrive at Alibaba warehouses in China by September 1st.
Harbin Ice Festival – December 24th, 2019- February 20th 2020, or by its full name Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival is considered the largest and most impressive ice festival in the world. Every year during the winter, artists from all over the world come to Harbin to sculpt in ice bricks and compressed snow. Those who come to the city can enjoy a variety of exhibitions, snow sculpture competitions and winter sports activities. The visit is also very suitable for families.
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The PTL Group team