I have gotten word that some Chinese businesses may, this year, close later and open earlier during the Chinese New Year, which begins February 12. The shortened holiday is good news for a toy industry that is still working out the coronavirus caused knots in its supply chain. It is not, however, good news for Chinese workers.
Chinese New Year is extremely important to that country’s workers who use it as an opportunity to make the trip home to see their families. As a result, the country’s businesses virtually shut down for up to two weeks. In past years, the holiday shut down has caused toy factories and those who service them to close, thereby disrupting the development, production, and shipping of toys.
This year is different as the Chinese government, due to coronavirus, is asking workers to avoid what Forbes calls “the world’s largest human migration.” Here is how CNN Travel quantifies the scale of travel that typically takes place over the two week period:
2.46 billion trips will be made by automobile, 413 million by rail,… — a rise of 8.3% — and 73 million by air.
Even though it may offer the toy industry an opportunity to catch up, it has to be an emotional blow to those in China who look forward to the holiday as a time of reunion. No matter where we live in the world, it will be a relief to get this epidemic behind us.