With the Western holidays of 2017 behind us, the Chinese are looking forward to Chinese New Year (CNY).
In 2018, Chinese New Year will be celebrated on and around February 16th. The celebrations tend to continue over a period of roughly 3 to 4 weeks. Most Chinese will go back to their hometowns to spend quality time with extended family, celebrate a year of hard work and have a relaxing break. For most people in China, Chinese New year is the only meaningful break of the year.
China on Pause:
During Chinese New Year almost all businesses shut down, new projects are postponed and no major works are undertaken. The business world in China is on a pause until the end of the festivities. Don’t expect suppliers to respond to your e-mails or calls during this time.
After the holidays it still takes a number of weeks for everyone to ramp up to their usual pace. Traditionally Chinese businesses have to replace a large portion of their workers who’ve decided not to return to their jobs.
What to Plan for:
You should conservatively plan for no production or shipments leaving China from the end of January to the start of March. You can also expect reduced production and shipping during the remainder of March.
Stop and Wait?
So what should you do now that you have all this information? Stop and postpone your new projects until March? No, not necessarily. If you’re planning to start your project in January, go ahead. Look for the supplier you need. Discuss details of your products and see what they can offer. Keep in mind that the lead times quoted, are going to be longer than normal. As a safety measure I’d make sure to add a few weeks on top. Plan for production to start after the Chinese New Year period. If your schedule permits it, start production in April. Not starting right after the CNY period will give the supplier some time to get back into the swing of things, train their new employees, and work out the kinks before your production starts.
If you’re in the middle of your production and are aiming to ship out before the festivities hit, keep up with your Quality Control inspections. Quality tends to be the victim as factories are straining to meet their deadlines before Chinese New Year. It’s better to spend a small amount of your total budget on inspections in China, than to risk your entire project and end up with faulty products at the destination. If you haven’t yet chosen a QC service, consider using ours. Read more on our page.
Guided Imports’ Time Off:
As for what we’re going to do during Chinese New Year? We’re taking a two week break, to give our staff the opportunity to spend this important time with their families. We’ll be out of the office from February 15th until February 25th.
Now that you are aware of what’s on the horizon you can plan accordingly. Good luck to you in 2018.