Every nation has its own special holidays. In the United States, we have the 4th of July and January 1st. In China, though, nothing quite competes with the New Year. A combination of celebration and preparation for new ventures, this holiday is one of the few that can bring the nation to a brief stop in order to reflect on both its past and its future. Understanding how the holiday is celebrated both in China and in the United States is a good way to get into the same mindset as your manufacturing partner- and a great way to build a bridge between your businesses.
For the most part, the Chinese New Year is a relatively quiet celebration in the United States. While there are certainly celebrations across Chinese communities in the country, they rarely tend to impact businesses within the United States – especially in the manufacturing sector. One might expect a bit more time off to be requested by employees who are part of the Chinese community in the United States, but nothing like the celebrations that will be experienced by those with their overseas manufacturing partner. It is, however, wise for a business to take the time to consider how their products made in China will be impacted by the New Year.
If a business has a Chinese manufacturing partner, it is wise to pay at least some attention to the New Year. The traditional gifts of the red envelope (filled with money, naturally) to managers at the overseas manufacturing facility can go a long way towards making sure that relations stay warm between the two companies, and taking the time to understand the customs that surround the New Year in China might help a company to understand issues with productivity around that date – as well as the general working culture of the manufacturer.
When there is interaction between the manufacturer and its partner in the US, it never hurts to make sure that one is taking the New Year seriously. Make sure that you look into local celebrations if a Chinese visitor is around on the auspicious date, and treat the day like you would any other major holiday. This is not just a matter of blending cultures, but rather a matter of respect – if you take the time to show your business partners that you care, they will return the same gestures to you when it comes to the world of business.
The Chinese New Year may not be a major date in the US, but it should be one that is on the calendars of anyone involved with Chinese manufacturing partners. Understanding it not only makes business relations smoother, but it gives you a major insight into how your partners think and work. Take the time to look into local celebrations and always make sure that you keep an open mind – after all, you are doing business with a foreign market. Taking the time to take in the culture is the best way to deal with those with whom you work.
Contact ITI today for any questions you have about manufacturing in China.