ANNOYING HOLIDAYS IN CHINA
If you have been closely working with companies/suppliers in China surely you would have encountered this (especially during January or February ):
You: I need this sample ASAP, can you please send to me within this week?
Supplier: Sorry sir, we are having holidays tomorrow. The whole factory will have days off for a week, we will get back to you next week!
You:…@5$^.. WHAT…the whole factory?!
Supplier: Yes sir, it is our national holiday and we are obligated to let all employees have days off.
If you have not encountered this, you are lucky and yes it will happen at some point.
Why mention January and February particularly though?
Because China’s New Year Holiday – Spring Festival – lasts for over a week, sometimes half a month during which they will not get any work done.
And factories will be extremly busy right before and after the holiday to catch up all the deadlines from their customers.
This might put you in an awkward situation if you are in a hurry to catch your own deadline.
So, what should we do to avoid this situation?
- Be aware. Know when are those holidays and how long do they last during the year.
- Be prepared. Try to avoid place orders when a long holiday is coming up if you have a very strict deadline.
- Be patient. When all the employees went on holiday, it is not within anyone’s control to expedite the whole manufacture or shipping process. You have to be patient and understand their perspective.
- Be smart. Try to communicate with the supplier. See if they can put your order as priority and ask if they have different company policy upon national holidays (have different days off) and work around with that.
In order to help you with this, we came up with a 2018 calendar with all Chinese holidays marked in orange.
You may refer to this picture or download PDF version.