Chinese New Year may not be a happy affair for all

HRM 05 Feb 2013

To the Chinese, there is no festival more important that the Chinese New Year. In China, companies scaling back on the traditional annual celebrations are raising the ire of its workers, who deem it as nothing less than a travesty.

This cut in spending has much to do with the austerity drive launched by the new Chinese leadership of Xi Jin Ping due to the economic slowdown. Government departments and state-owned enterprises across China have had to cancel their festivities, causing many workers see red.

According to a report by Financial Times, even private companies are getting into the spirit of austerity, with some opting to hold their parties at fast food  restaurants.

CIC, China's $500bn sovereign wealth fund, opted not to hold a new year party this year. One employee was quoted as saying: "We have never been extravagant in our nianhui [new year parties], and actually had a really good year last year. I can understand if they wanted to do a smaller nianhui, but none at all is going too far."

In Shanghai, employees from branches of Agricultural Bank of China and Pudong Development Bank said their year-end festivities did not take place.

On Sina Weibo, the microblogging site, one employee posted pictures of her company's year end party at Pizza Hut, while another complained her company party at a five-star hotel took place from 9am to 11am and offered only the bare minimum: "No gifts, no lunch, no set plate . . . no tea or coffee offered. Everyone only got a mini bottle of mineral water."



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