The Spring Festival, or Chinese New Year, is a grand celebration for China and Chinese people around the world. Chinese families look forward to gift-giving, family gatherings, bountiful meals, and a lot more. The Chinese New Year is akin to celebrating the Christmas holidays in other parts of the world. Before the COVID-19 outbreak, it was common practice to make travel plans to hometowns, arrange business gatherings, and meet deadlines long before the long holidays commence.

Check out the official Public Holidays in China for the Year 2021

However, this year’s Spring Festival celebration requires extra planning. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we also face an extra challenge as the new normal of celebrating events has started to sink in. Nevertheless, we are here to help you ensure that you have all things covered for the upcoming Chinese New Year.

Reminders before and after the Spring Festival – a brief timeline

Weeks before February 12

  • Factories close followed by an increase in demand to make up for the temporary closure.

To avoid delays, you should have planned retail and manufacturing needs to make up for the holidays. Weeks before the holidays, factories get high demands from clients who plan ahead of time. Moreover, when they open after the holidays, factories would also increase their production rate to provide for the unmet demand that built up during their closure.

Inventory

As a business, excess inventory is only beneficial if managed properly. That is to say, the business could keep storage costs to a bare minimum, reduce perishable goods to place losses at bay, and more. If this did not make your business checklist, make sure you have contingent suppliers who can cater to your business needs. In line with this, having a network of possible suppliers will also be useful to be able to meet your customers’ demands.

For cross-border transactions, looking for suppliers that have multiple branches in different strategic countries may also be beneficial. That way, there is a greater chance that business is still on-going in one country while their offices/factories in China are closed. If there is a chance to increase inventory while you can, do so but with great caution.

  • Plan travel within China carefully or consider a comfortable staycation instead.

Amid the persistent threat of COVID-19, the local governments in China have strengthened their protocols and measures. This includes requiring travelers to take nucleic acid tests before traveling for the Spring Festival.

If you need to undergo a nucleic acid test to travel during the Chinese new year, here are some tips before taking the test:

  • No food intake for two hours prior to the test;
  • No smoking or drinking 30 minutes before the test;
  • Reduce swallowing and other laryngeal movements so as to lessen any discomfort.
Staycation

Another option to spend a much-needed break during the CNY would be a relaxing staycation. A staycation means staying within the comforts of your home or maybe vacationing in a hotel nearby. It is a chance to pamper yourself in a different, and possibly luxurious ambiance without the risk of long-distance travel. A hotel-like experience allows you to “kick back and relax” and feel the so-called holiday spirit.

To curb the potential surge of new COVID-19 cases, local government authorities have advised workers to not travel unnecessarily. Furthermore, Chinese companies and local governments have offered to pay those who will not travel during the Lunar New Year. For example, Hangzhou offers RMB 1,000 subsidy to local migrants who will choose to stay in the city during the holidays. Shanghai, on the other hand, plans to pay phone and medical bills to those who will cancel their travels.

From 12th to 22nd February

Dubbed as the “world’s largest human migration”, the Chinese New Year forces millions of Chinese to travel across the country (and even outside China) to celebrate the festivities with their families. But as restrictions across international borders and within Chinese provinces have been placed, fewer travels will be expected this year. The seven days off work for employees can sometimes extend depending on additional measures imposed by local authorities. Moreover, employees may find themselves using up their annual leaves to extend their leaves before or after the Spring Festival period (February 11-17).

Yet companies would have expected to prepare for remote work instantaneously when community lockdowns will be implemented. This could mean the following things:

  • Equipping employees with a stable connection and reliable equipment to be able to remotely fulfill work duties;
  • Be prepared that some employees might temporarily or permanently be unable to go back to work due to illness. Remote training might be necessary if some employees do not come back. This does not necessarily equate to a weaker workforce. From the experiences gained from 2020, opportunities for fresh talent and more efficient work processes may arise.
  • Investing in (or updating current) Cloud-based management and accounting services to be able to manage your business from any city or country. For instance, Kwikdroid automates, standardizes, and optimizes all your daily accounting and management business operations needs. Expenses, Leaves, Invoicing, Timesheets, Fapiao input via OCR technology, and lots more can be accomplished safely, remotely, and from any device. Using remote tools such as Kwikdroid is the best way to ensure business continuity even amid a lockdown. Contact us to help you put this system in place.

Towards the end of February

Some key points that are good to know during this time include:

  • Employees ideally begin to come back;
  • By mid-March, operations ideally, go back to normal;
  • If things continue to be done remotely, management and accounting solutions, such as Kwikdroid will certainly achieve any major tasks to be done. Managing leaves and expense requests, as well as contacting your accountant can be done with ease by a click of a button.

What this year’s Spring Festival (Chinese New Year) mean for businesses?

February 12th is the official start of 2021 CNY – the year of the oxen (no, it’s not the year of the cow). Traditionally, the ox means positivity, hard work, and honesty. For businesses, the year may represent an opportunity to be more earnest and sincere in your dealings. Fraud may be lurking in the corner, especially during these times when COVID-19 opens opportunities for committing fraud. But with experiences gained in the past year, businesses must be able to prevent and deter fraudsters from taking advantage of the situation.

Conclusion

It is best to be prepared before the holidays, let alone during these days when uncertainty is at maximum. If you do realize that some of your preparations might not be enough, experienced professionals can assist you based on their past experiences in 2020, when the brunt of the situation was at its peak. Enjoying the holidays with your family and friends while following social distancing protocols might be challenging, but the important thing is to be able to be responsible for your well-being, your family, work, and the community around you.

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