Monday, January 26, 2009

Happy new year! Kung hei fat choy!

Its New Years in China. The year of the Ox. US industry is so reliant on China that this holiday has an impact on everyone. For the past few months US companies have been asking their China counterparts, "when will you be closing and reopening for New Year's?" Companies need to make sure they avoid supply chain problems by getting their orders in and shipped ahead of the holidays.

Our manufacturing will be closed for a week or so and our office in HK will be closed for a day or two (although, people will be taking individual vacations around this time). In some ways, this time is not much different than the time in the US between Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years. Anyone who works in a big company knows the bosses all take vacations during that time of year. Plus, the overall workload slows down (unless you work in retail) because the people you need are on vacation too. Things get done, but slower and with a bit less urgency.

These same feelings and culture are found in China. All offices close for the official holiday days. But around thoses days workers take extra time to ski (I hear skiing in Japan is incredible. Can anyone comment?) or head to the warmth of Bali. Factories extend their shut down to allow their workers to make the long trip home to see family.

One of these days I will make sure I am in China for the New Years and take part in the various festivities. Any holiday involving fireworks, dragons, and food, sounds like a good time to me.


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