Header issue 01  
Hello all,

This is the first in a series of regular newsletters that will be sent to all customers, both current and future of Netelis Asia. The purpose of the newsletter is to enlighten and inform you of interesting and useful cultural matters relating to China and the Chinese so you can more effectively understand your customers sending money to China, having clear insight into your Chinese remitees will allow you to more effectively market your services to them in your respective locales.

First off is the most important event of the year for 1/6th of the worlds population : Chinese New Year (AKA "Spring Festival"). About 70% of the annual volume of money remitted to China is sent in time for Chinese New Year, so its important to have some understanding of it and to develop a marketing strategy around this important event. The date drifts around the changes each year as it follows the lunar calendar; you can get the dates for the event each year here. In 2009 it falls on 26th January, so there is no time to lose!

According to tales and legends, the beginning of Chinese New Year started with the fight against a mythical beast called the Nian or "Year" in Chinese. Nian would come on the first day of New Year to devour livestock, crops, and even villagers, especially children. To protect themselves, the villagers would put food in front of their doors at the beginning of every year and believed that after the Nian ate the food they prepared, it wouldn’t attack any more people. Once, people saw the Nian was scared away by a child wearing red, they then assumed that the Nian was afraid of color red. Hence, every time New Year came around, the villagers would hang red lanterns and scrolls on windows and doors and use fire crackers to scare the Nian away.

The period around Chinese New Year is also the time of the largest human migration, when migrant workers in China, as well as overseas Chinese around the world travel home to have reunion dinners with their families on Chinese New Year's eve. This period is called Chunyun (春运).

The Chinese New Year celebrations are marked by visits to family and friends, a practice known as bàinián (拜年). The color red is liberally used in all decorations. Red paper packets (红包; hóng bāo) are given to each other with money inside; Chinese New Year is vital for the distribution of wealth from workers to spouses, children, parents and grandparents - the vast majority of families expect money to be given to them at this time basically an annual payment to look after the family each year resulting in an enormous simultaneous distribution of wealth saved up over the previous 12 months to the family throughout the Chinese community.

The biggest event of Chinese New Year is the meal each family has together on new years eve. Much is made of this family get together and is comparable to Christmas dinner in the West.
  Lucky and unlucky numbers

Money that is distributed is should never have a 4 in it - the number 4 is a homophone for the word death in Chinese, however the number 8 is considered very good fortune indeed, being a homophone for the word wealth.

We hope that now you know a little more about Chinese New Year and its importance to the Chinese community around the world, and will not go on to make marketing mistakes like Coca-Cola in the 90’s and their translation of Coke into Ke-ke-ken-la which means “female horse stuffed with wax”…..

Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us with any questions, we are here to help you increase your business with the Chinese community in the countries you operate in and are happy to help.

Gong xi fa cai! (恭喜发财) (say: "Gong shee far choi") Happy New Year and Good Fortune!

  Best Regards

The Team at Netelis Asia
  Netelis Asiaudpay.com.cn and China Post  
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