What Happened: China recently released its official October 1 National Day schedule. Commonly referred to as the “seven-day long break” 七天长假, this year’s holiday will start on Saturday, October 1 and last until Friday, October 7. However, many netizens are taking issue with the fact that the ensuing weekend, October 8 and 9, are workdays, meaning that the holiday is immediately followed by a seven-day work week.
On Weibo, the hashtag “can we do without the rescheduling” 可不可以不调休, referring to the cancelation of the weekend of October 8, has garnered 430 million views, placing it at the top of the platform’s trending topic list on September 21. The prevailing complaint is that the supposedly seven-day break only has three actual extra days off, with the other four being de facto weekends. The other major concern is that the unusually long work week will bring excessive stress, shadowing the public’s excitement for the holiday.
The Jing Take: The frustration of Chinese netizens reflects the substantial sense of fatigue accumulated through the demanding modern urban lifestyle, exacerbated by mobility restrictions and unpredictable lockdowns this year. Online comments show that the Chinese public is very sensitive toward any perceived additional burden: previous National Day holiday weeks were also rescheduled, with two extra work days added from the weekends. The difference is that this year, the two days are lumped together, whereas in the past they were spread out across two to three weeks.
The psychological impact that this seemingly-minor change has is notable. The rescheduling, together with urges from multiple locations to avoid traveling and large gatherings, is causing many to lose interest in making plans. A comment that received 2,300 likes asks what is the point of the break when people are asked to stay put and work seven days afterward, while a trending post that received over 50,000 likes calls the authorities to focus more on curbing China’s toxic “996” work culture instead of tampering with the holiday schedule.
Luxury brands can learn two things from the rescheduling saga. The first is that they should not have high expectations of travel retail performance during the upcoming holiday. On the verge of the pivotal 20th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party, the government has zero tolerance for potential COVID outbreaks caused by rebounding travels. The second is that Chinese urban dwellers yearn for stress relief more than ever. Going forward, luxury houses should explore what new products and events can offer needed respite from their daily hustle and bustle.
The Jing Take reports on a piece of the leading news and presents our editorial team’s analysis of the key implications for the luxury industry. In the recurring column, we analyze everything from product drops and mergers to heated debate sprouting on Chinese social media