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Top 4 things to know about Chinese New Year for your business

If you have Chinese contacts, clients, or employees, Chinese New Year will have an impact on your business while presenting opportunities.

year of the snake

year of the snake
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Kicking off the Chinese New Year

Sunday, February 10, 2013, marked the entrance of the year of the Snake according to the Chinese zodiac calendar. The public holiday, usually lasting for two to three days is not only a time for families to be together but also for businesses to offer well wishes to clients. As you choose how to use Chinese New Year to your advantage, here are four things to keep in mind.

1. Closings

Businesses celebrating Chinese New Year, in China as well as in America, are likely to be closed from Sunday February 10th to Tuesday February 12th. As a note, many businesses may stay closed longer with no warning. If you source materials or have projects running in China, be aware that extending deadlines may be the way to maintain sanity.

2. Cards

Unlike with the American celebration of the New Year, which normally culminates on the night of January 31st, you have a whole month to send your Chinese New Year well wishes. This could be a great time to form some useful networks and make contacts by sending New Year’s greetings.

3. Customers

Chinese New Year is the time of year for gift giving and celebration. As such, this is the quarter in which many Chinese customers spend. Since Chinese New Year falls so close to Valentine’s Day this year, one business in China that specializes in boyfriend rentals, has reported a rise in new customers. One would do well to use this holiday as a way to court new customers.

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4. “Chunyun”

Also known as “homecoming,” Chunyun is the busiest travel season in the world and has been dubbed the largest annual migration. This is important to keep in mind for a myriad of reasons.

  • Many Chinese-born, US employees may be requesting time off
  • Other businesses may be slow to respond
  • A greater need for temporary workers in China during this time

Wishing you a happy, healthy and prosperous Year of the Snake!

Written By

Monica Moffitt, founder and Principal Cultural Consultant at Tianfen Consulting, Inc., has traveled the world and enjoys linguistics and all things culture. Having split her career between project management and business analytics, Monica merges logic, fluency in Chinese and creativity in her new role as cultural consultant. She received a Bachelor of Arts in East Asian Studies/Chinese from Vanderbilt University and a Master of Business Administration (International Management and Marketing) from University of Texas at Dallas.

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